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Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is very common among people. Virtually everyone will experience bad breath at some point in their lives (if not every day – “morning breath”), and for most people treatment is as simple as brushing your teeth.

So what causes bad breath?

Bad breath is the result of a pungent odor that develops as waste products from bacteria, broken down food particles, and other oral debris build up. As these substances decay, they produce a sulphur compound that is responsible for the unpleasant odor.

In rarer cases, bad breath may be the result of a medical infection, diabetes, kidney issues, liver malfunction, dry mouth, and tobacco use. Sometimes just being stressed, eating poorly, or sleeping poorly can also result in bad breath.

During puberty, most adolescents will experience bad breath regularly due to the hormonal changes that come with puberty.

How do I eliminate bad breath?

Depending on the severity of the condition, eliminating bad breath can be a simple process or require professional intervention.

One of the most common causes of bad breath is gingivitis, which is a minor type of gum disease. The most effective treatment for gingivitis is simply brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Within a few weeks, your gums will return to a healthy pink color. You can identify a gum infection by the fact that your gums will appear more red, swollen, and your gums may bleed during brushing.

Bad breath can also be the result of simply having dirty teeth. If you’ve eaten resently or forgot to brush before work, then your bad breath is likely the result of your teeth not being clean. A quick 2 minute brushing with toothpaste will eliminate your bad breath.

While brushing you may also consider cleaning your tongue. If you’ve noticed a white or yellow build up on your tongue (or if your tongue changes color when eating candy), then you should consider brushing or scraping your tongue. This can be done either with a toothbrush or with a specialised tool called a tongue scraper, which can be purchased at any pharmacy or online.

Additional causes of bad breath

Bad breath may also be the result of an empty stomach, smoking, or the overuse of mouthwash.

If you’ve skipped a meal recntly, then your saliva production may be reduced, resulting in temporary dry mouth. Saliva is one of your body’s main defences against oral bacteria.

If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a routine check-up, give us a call or schedule your appointment online today.