Bad breath happens. If you’ve ever gotten that not-so-fresh feeling on a date, at a job interview or just talking with friends, you’re not alone. Studies show that 50 percent of adults have had bad breath, or halitosis, at some point in their lives.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are multiple reasons that you may have dragon breath. While most of the causes are harmless, bad breath could be a sign of something more serious.
Bad breath can happen anytime because of the many varieties of breath-causing bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. Your mouth also acts like a natural hothouse that allows these bacteria to grow. While you eat, bacteria feed on the food left in your mouth and leaves a foul-smelling waste product behind.
Feeling parched? Your mouth may not be making enough saliva. Saliva is very important as it works around the clock to wash your mouth. If you don’t have enough, your mouth isn’t being cleaned as much as it should be. Dry mouth may be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems or by simply breathing through your mouth.
Bad breath that just won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth is a serious warning sign of advanced gum disease, which is caused by a sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque.
Garlic, onions, coffee… The list of breath-offending foods is long, and what you eat affects the air you exhale. While strong-smelling foods do not necessarily have a bad effect on your teeth, make sure you brush frequently to keep your mouth fresh and clean.
Smoking and Tobacco
Smoking stains your teeth gives you bad breath and puts you in danger for a number of serious health issues. Tobacco reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease. Since smoking also affects your sense of smell, smokers may not be aware of how their breath smells.
Mouth infections will cause bad breath. However, if your dentist has ruled out different causes and you brush and floss on a daily basis, your bad breath could be the result of another problem, such as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. In this case, see your healthcare provider.