Bad breath (halitosis): 17 causes and how to get rid of it

Filed in: Diseases & Conditions.

A night of alcohol

A night of drinks can leave you with stinky breath.

Beers with the children, a girls night with wine, a happy hour after work. These are all recipes for fun, but your partner may notice something less fun in the morning: bad breath.

Unlike most liquids, alcohol dries the mouth, which helps bacteria cause bad breath, also known medically as halitosis. Caffeinated drinks can also do this, like cigarettes and spicy food. This prevents your natural mouth cleaning agent, saliva, from doing its job. When the saliva is not patrolling, the bacteria thrive and leave your mouth less than fresh mint.

The back of your tongue

Bacteria on your tongue often cause bad breath. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s2-back-of-tongue.jpg

Sure, he just sits there holding his tongue in place most of the time. But the back of the tongue is also the place where hard-to-reach bacteria tend to congregate. The bacteria in your throat, under your tongue and on the back of your tongue break down the proteins inside your mouth. When they do, they release sulfur compounds that stink. These include hydrogen sulfide, the same compound that gives rotten eggs and natural gas their strong odor. Another major offender is methanethiol, which is released by paper mills and flatulence, and is also found in many plants and vegetables.

When the bacteria come together, they tend to grow. The colonies of bacteria compete with neutral colonies or of pleasant smell. Some mouths have more offensive-smelling types than others, and some scientists are looking for products that could kill colonies of stinky bacteria and preserve the nicer ones. Until these products are available to consumers, however, brushing teethFlossing and tongue scrapers are still the best way to control the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Very low carbohydrate diets

Have you ever heard of keto breath? It is caused by eating a very low carbohydrate diet. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s3-low-carb-diet.jpg

If you are trying a very low carb diet, you can get something else besides weightloss. Very low carbohydrate diets are ways to achieve ketosis, a natural process that forces your body to feed the brain and other organs with stored fat instead of the usual carbohydrates.

One of the most unpleasant side effects of ketosis is known as "keto-breath". This process causes the body to emit certain chemicals called ketones, and when exhaled, they have a smell similar to that of acetone, the main ingredient in the nail polish remover.

If you have been low in carbohydrates diet and notice a slightly sweet chemical smell coming out of your mouth, forget about asking your dentist for help, because this is bad breath that can not be overcome with better oral hygiene. Instead, you should change your diet or mask the odor in some way. Mouthwash may be your best bet. You could try sugar– Free gums or pills too, but be careful, even sugar-free varieties are often loaded with carbohydrates, which will eliminate your weight loss plan.

Colds and sinusitis

Infected breasts can cause your mouth to stink. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s4-colds-sinus-infection.jpg

When your body fights an infection, you may not have the breath in your mind at first. But that could be the first thing that people close to you notice. Colds, sinusitis, and bronchitis They are causes of bad breath.

However, this is more complicated than it seems. Sometimes, your sinuses are clogged without an infection, for example, when you have allergies. The mucus alone does not cause bad breath, as it is odorless. However, some people have chronic congested noses and this can cause halitosis. If you breathe regularly through your mouth, this dries your mouth and leaves it free of saliva. And saliva is the main cleaning agent in the mouth, so going without it can make your breath smell bad.

Ulcer bacteria

Sometimes the stinky breath comes from a stomach bacterium. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s5-ulcer-bacteria.jpg

In 80% to 90% of cases of bad breath, the mouth is the problem. However, not when it comes to certain bacteria that cause ulcers. One study found that among 18 patients with halitosis (the medical term for bad breath) who were also infected with H. pylori bacteria, 16 were cured of their bad breath about a month after the bacteria was killed. Not only that, but patients were relieved of their other symptoms, such as nausea.

Medicines

Drugs can dry out your mouth and cause problems. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s6-medications.jpg

Does your medication dry up? If so, you are not alone. It is known that more than 400 different medications, both prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies, inhibit saliva. Since saliva is the natural cleansing agent in your mouth, you may be depriving yourself of fresh, clean breath.

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If you need to take your medications, there are other solutions besides leaving them. Drinking frequently, small sips of water may be the right solution for you. Another possibility is chewing gum without sugar. If this does not work, you can also talk to your dentist about the best oral rinses for your situation.

Tonsil stones

Tonsil stones can stink your throat. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s7-tonsil-stones.jpg

Have you ever found a small white ball that comes out of the back of your mouth? It is firm, but if you crush it, it gives off a terrible smell. These little white balloons are known as tonsil stones. They are formed by hardened bacteria, along with the nutrients that feed these bacteria: dead cells, mucus and leftovers. The stones of the amygdala are normal and generally harmless, but they can contribute to bad breath.

As the name suggests, tonsil stones often lodge along the ridges of the tonsils. They can also form on the back of the tongue, near the throat. They often release themselves, but if they are bothering you, there is another trick that can work. Try gargling with salt water. If that does not work and it continues to be a problem, talk to your dentist about other solutions.

Raisins and other dried fruits

Bacteria love dried fruit, which sticks to the teeth. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s8-raisins-dried-fruit.jpg

The fruit is good for you, right? Yes, but the dried fruit is loaded with sugar. Whether it's raisins, prunes, dried apricots or anything else, when the fruit dries, the water runs off, leaving a lot of sugar. And guess who besides humans loves sugar? That's right, the bacteria that cause halitosis.

But wait, there is more. The dried fruits are also sticky and tend to get trapped in hard to reach places inside the mouth, such as between the teeth. All the time it is attracting bacteria. So if you like to chop dried fruit, try brushing and flossing immediately afterwards.

Stomach acid and GERD (acid reflux)

The more stomach acid you have, the more likely you are to also have halitosis. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s9-hearburn-gerd-acid-reflux.jpg

If you have frequent and persistent heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease may be the cause. This condition, more commonly known as GERD, has also been associated with bad breath. In fact, the more stomach acid you have, the more likely you are to have bad breath based on a large study. GERD and halitosis are even more linked among people who also wear dentures.

Why does GERD sometimes cause bad breath? Scientists believe that there could be some reasons. One is that GERD can cause postnasal drip, which is known to leave your stinky breath. Another possible reason is that with an esophagus that does not work properly, gas from the stomach can escape into the throat, which can certainly be a stink problem. GERD affects many people, and your doctor can help you if this is the cause of your halitosis.

Stuffed and cracked teeth

Dental fillings can become a popular breeding ground for bacteria. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s10-fillings-cracked-teeth.jpg

It is very likely that he had cavities. In fact, more than 90% of adults have had one, and the average cavities in an adult's mouth are a little more than three. Most of these cavities have been punctured and filled, but your oral problems may not end just because the cavity has been treated.

Dental fillings are like broken teeth, because they offer a place where the bacteria that cause halitosis to hide. They can also hide tooth decay, which is another popular breeding ground for this type of bacteria. When your dentures do not fit properly, they can cause the same type of problem. Mark as another good reason to get your regular dental checkup.

Dry mouth

When your mouth is dry, your mouth loses its main cleaning agent, saliva. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s11-dry-mouth.jpg

We have already covered how dry mouth You can leave your breath in terrible shape. Again, this is because saliva cleanses the mouth and helps eliminate bacteria that cause bad breath. But you may not know why your mouth is dry. Here are some causes of dry mouth:

Medications such as blood pressure Medications, analgesics and antidepressants. Medical conditions such as Sjögren's syndrome. Head and neck trauma. Of smoking.

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Consider if one or more of these can contribute to dry mouth (known to doctors as xerostomia). If so, consider talking to your dentist, who can help you solve many of these problems.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Keep your mouth clean to prevent malodorous bacteria. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s12-poor-oral-hygiene.jpg

It is logical to think that if you do not brush regularly, your partner can smell it. Failure to care for your teeth daily leaves the unpleasant odor of persistent bacteria and can cause cavities that can also cause bad breath. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush twice a day for two minutes each time with a soft bristle brush and floss daily.

Breath in the morning

Morning breathing is caused by decreased saliva while you sleep. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s13-morning-breath.jpg

You had to know that this would be on the list somewhere. Everyone has woken up with the morning's breath, that unpleasant smell that visits our mouths after a good night's sleep. There are good reasons behind this. Saliva production slows down while you sleep. It gets worse when you breathe through your mouth while you sleep or if you snore. Some medications can also make it worse, which makes this problem especially aggressive among the elderly, who tend to take several medications.

The solution to this is quite simple. The National Health Service of England suggests that you brush right before bed without eating or drinking anything afterwards. To make sure you are doing everything possible, be sure to brush your tongue too.

Garlic

Why does garlic breath last so long? "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s14-eating-garlic.jpg

This may seem obvious at first glance, but do you know why garlic and similar foods leave your breath in such a horrible state? Also, why does the breath of garlic last so long, even resisting the toothbrush? The answer to both questions is reduced to sulfur.

Doctors discovered in the 1930s that garlic can cause bad breath without ever entering the mouth. A patient was fed garlic soup through a feeding tube and hours later, the patient's breath stopped with garlic. This is because some of the compounds in garlic last a long time in the bloodstream and end up in the lungs when you breathe out. It can also be sweaty.

Believe it or not, there is an easy solution for the garlic breath, as long as you have some mint or an apple on hand. Chewing either mint or an apple can neutralize the chemical compounds in the garlic. Other foods that help include milk, parsley, lemon juice and green tea.

Gum disease

Gum disease sometimes gets away from bad breath. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s15-gum-disease.jpg

Sometimes oral health problems leave your stinky breath. And sometimes bad breath can be a clue that there are bigger health problems that need to be addressed. When you have persistent bad breath, this is a symptom of gum disease. Other signs include bleeding gums that are red and swollen. A periodontist can help with various treatments that may include the use of ultrasound, radiography, and dental implants.

Smoking cigars

Smoking cigarettes dries by mouth. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s16-smoking-cigarettes.jpg

Smoking cigarettes It can lead to offensive odors on several fronts. The first is the smell of burnt tobacco, which is often offensive to non-smokers. The second is the tendency of the smoke to dry the mouth, which leaves it without bacterial cleansing saliva. Finally, smoking cigarettes has been linked to gum disease, which is another source of bad breath.

Quitting smoking is an infamous challenge, but enormously beneficial for your health. If you do not smoke, do not start. And if you do, talk to your doctor about effective strategies to stop smoking.

Dentures

Dentures can leave room for unpleasant bacteria to grow. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/bad-breath-causes-s17-dentures.jpg

Dentures are not that different from natural teeth when it comes to cleaning. Both should be cleaned every day to avoid halitosis and other health problems. Dentures should be brushed like teeth and do not neglect the soft tissue of the mouth, such as the tongue and palate.

However, you must take an additional step to ensure a pleasant breath if you wear dentures. That extra step is to remember to remove them at night by placing them in a glass of water. Water is important: without it, your dentures can become deformed, and ill-fitting dentures can leave room for odorous bacteria to accumulate and grow.

Reference: https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/causes_halitosis_bad_breath

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