Bad Breath: Is There a Cure?
Updated: Jan 17
Are you constantly wondering where bad breath comes from? Thinking, “I just brushed my teeth before falling asleep, how can I have such bad breath in the morning?” Well you’re not alone. Everyone suffers from some sort of halitosis.
Our mouths are full of bacteria, both good and bad. They feed off of food that is not removed from the mouth by thorough brushing and flossing, and as the bacteria breaks down the food, they release foul-smelling gases. In some people, health conditions and poor hygiene habits can also cause bad breath.
Where Does It Come From?
Bad breath when you wake up is normal. This happens because the saliva that regularly washes away decaying food and odors during the day diminishes at night when you sleep. Your mouth becomes dry and dead cells stick to your tongue and inside your cheek. Bacteria uses these cells as a food source and expel foul-smelling gases.
Nasty Bacteria and Gum Disease
Gum disease can be a contributing factor to bad breath. Gum disease that is detected early enough is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammatory response to a build-up of bacteria found in plaque that has not been properly removed from the teeth, because of poor brushing and flossing. Once plaque is established, it can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist.
Culprits: Food Offenders, Smoking, Alcohol and Medicines
Coffee, fish, onions, and garlic are obvious causes of bad breath, as well as beverages that dry out your mouth, like alcohol, because they reduce levels of saliva that’s needed to wash away odor-causing bacteria. Regularly drinking water, especially at meal times, chewing sugar-free gum after meals, and adding a squeeze of lemon on fish dishes can help reduce food odors.
Cigarettes and Cigars
Smoking is also a huge factor causing bad breath. Smoke particles remain in the lungs long after you have finished the cigarette or cigar, making your breath smell pungent and stale. Smoking also dries out your mouth, contributing to gum disease.
Furthermore, there are many medications that are associated with bad breath because they dry out your mouth.