Bad breath, or halitosis, is mainly caused by the
buildup of bacteria in the mouth, which produces a foul smell. Bad breath can be embarrassing, but fortunately once you have identified the causes, you can begin treatment.
The accumulation of bad breath bacteria most often comes from a lack of a complete oral care routine resulting in a buildup of plaque bacteria around the gum line and back of tongue. Other causes of bad breath include dietary choices, a buildup of bacteria while sleeping, stress, and dehydration.
Halitosis has many causes, including the following:
On rare occasions, bad breath can be a sign of a more serious medical condition so it’s important not to ignore the problem and to see a dental professional if the problem persists. By following a proper oral care routine, you can help improve your bad breath.
Brush. Floss. Rinse. It sounds pretty simple, yet it’s the best routine to help you win the battle against bad breath.
After understanding the cause of your bad breath, you can begin taking the proper steps to help achieve fresher breath. These easy steps will help you get the most from your dental health routine:
Bad breath that seems to have no other cause may indicate an infection elsewhere in the body. If you have chronic bad breath and your dental professional rules out any oral problems, see your doctor for an evaluation. Bad breath can be a sign of a range of conditions including respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis or bronchitis, diabetes, or liver and kidney problems, so it's important not to ignore the problem.
The best way to improve bad breath is to follow a thorough oral care routine including twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing to remove the food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath. Mouthwashes only improve bad breath for the short term, and if you have a chronic problem, your dental professional may suggest an antimicrobial rinse to help keep bacteria at bay.
This blog has been reviewed and approved by Dr Robert Lee,
a dental professional of 35 years
Dr Robert Lee
Dr Robert Lee is a dentist with more than thirty years of experience in the industry.
Graduating from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery and from the University of New South Wales with a Master of Business Administration, Robert’s career has taken him all over the world – from Australia to Germany to his current position in Chicago, where he is the founder of Denticus Inc., offering strategic dental consulting.
Robert has previously worked for Procter & Gamble as the Director of Professional Scientific Relations in both the Cincinnati and Sydney offices, being responsible for external relations and scientific exchange with leading professional associations and industry thought leaders. He was also responsible for all technical and scientific training for the professional teams in North America and Australia.
Robert has been assisting the team at Oral-B by fact-checking and reviewing our blogs on dental health. You can find a list of the blogs Robert has approved below:
Does Flossing Help Bad Breath?
The Best Electric Toothbrush of 2021
Dry Mouth: Causes, Remedies, and Treatments
Black Hairy Tongue Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
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