What Causes Bad Breath? How Can You Get Rid of It?

Studies show that approximately 85% of people with persistent bad breath have a dental condition as the root cause.

Bad breath can be embarrassing and, in some cases, can be a cause of anxiety. Also known as halitosis, bad breath is the reason why stores have shelves full of mints, gum, and mouthwashes designed to fight the problem. But those things temporarily mask the issue; they don’t necessarily address the cause.

Causes of Bad Breath

Studies show that approximately 85% of people with persistent bad breath have a dental condition as the root cause. Some of these conditions include:

  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Oral cancer
  • Dry mouth
  • Mouth sores
  • Bacteria on the tongue

Covering up bad breath with using things like a mouthwash will only mask the odor if you have a dental problem. If you are experiencing chronic bad breath, you need to visit your dentist to rule out any of these underlying issues.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

It is easy to improve your breath by keeping your teeth, gums, and tongue clean. Try these simple steps first to see if they improve your breath. If not, you may have an underlying condition you will need to talk to your dentist about helping.

  • Brush and floss more often – plaque collects bacteria, which causes bad breath. Food trapped in your teeth only adds to the problem. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day will help, and doing so after each meal will drastically reduce bad breath.
  • Use Mouthwash – It freshens your breath, but it also adds extra protection by getting rid of bacteria. Rinsing your mouth each day can stop bead breath at its source.
  • Clean your tongue – Smelly bacteria can coat the tongue and cause bad breath. To get rid of it, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush. You can also buy a scraper. They are designed specifically to clean the tongue.
  • Avoid smelly foods – Foods like garlic and onions can be very offensive. Even brushing your teeth after eating them doesn’t help. To stop the problem, don’t eat them, or at least not before you go to work or go out with friends.
  • Stop smoking – Smoking can cause cancer, damage your gums, stain your teeth, and give you bad breath. From over-the-counter patches to talking to your healthcare provider, there are many ways to kick the habit.
  • Drink plenty of water – Drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses every day to avoid dry mouth. Drinking water will help wash away food particles and bacteria, the primary cause of bad breath.

Call Us Today

The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologist in Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.

Call (314) 862-7844
Updated: February 2, 2022

Leave a Comment