Simple Answers - What Causes Halitosis (Bad Breath)?
Everyone has had bad breath at least once in their life. It happens. Maybe you ate something, or you forgot to brush your teeth. However, there are people that have chronic bad breath, or halitosis. And sometimes they don't even know their breath stinks! Friends and family don't like to bring it up because a persons breath can actually be a very personal topic. So, what really does cause bad breath? Can it be avoided? Knowing a few simple facts can prevent a lot of embarrassment later.
Things That Can Cause Bad Breath
Garlic and onions are well known for making breath stinky. It doesn't matter how many times you brush your teeth, or suck on mints, the smell takes forever to go away! The reason for this is because after the garlic or onions are ingested, the odor causing agents are circulated through the blood stream. So when a person breaths the air is filtered through the garlic smelling blood thus making their breath smell for hours! So, dispite some of the wonderful flavors of both of these dragon-breath agents, most everyone knows to stay clear of them several hours before going into the public.
Not only can bad smelling foods circulate through the blood, food can also get stuck on or in between teeth after meals. If a person doesn't brush their teeth soon after eating, the food can rot causing bacteria to grow inside the mouth which can cause bad breath.
Bad breath may also be persistent (chronic bad breath), which is a more serious condition. This can affect some 25% of the population in varying degrees. This condition is usually caused by the one's metabolic activity, or how your body breaks down certain types of oral bacteria. Checking with your doctor is the best way to find a solution to this condition.
Gum and mouth diseases can also cause terrible bad breath. A dentist would be able to find the best solution to those issues.
Stopping the Causes of Bad Breath.
Since there is no single reason for halitosis, it is best to consult a doctor to uncover the primary reason in each separate case. A regular dental check-up should uncover whether any aspect of oral health is responsible for lingering foul odors, while blood tests can establish systemic answers to the vexed question of what causes bad breath. Halitosis could be a result of a potentially serious condition, so medical evaluation of the problem is always a good idea. However, you need not wait until you get a dental or a doctor's appointment, to take action on learning that there is a bad smell in your mouth, for there are effective steps that you can safely take on your own.
General oral hygiene should be sufficient to treat bad breath if you are healthy. Stay away from tobacco and strong smelling foods. Keep a regular schedule of brushing your teeth and flossing as well. Sometimes that's all you'll need to do!
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