Bad breath, medically termed halitosis, is the unpleasant odour of the mouth. It can be caused by poor dental hygiene or other health problems. The foods you consume and unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking, can make the bad breathe, worse. Find out what can cause bad odour and how to prevent it?

What causes bad breath?

Any food that you eat, is broken down in your mouth by the enzymes in your saliva. These foods are digested and absorbed into your blood. Eventually, they are carried into your lungs, which are given off in your breath.  If you are not brushing and flossing regularly after consuming strong odoured-foods, the odour will not perish, until the foods leave your system.

The foods and unhealthy lifestyle habits that make your breath smell bad are:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Spices
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking

The medications that can cause bad breath are:

  • Tranquilisers (phenothiazines)
  • Chemotherapy medication – used to treat cancer
  • Nitrates – used to treat angina (chest pain)

Bacteria can accumulate on your teeth and in-between them. They can also build up on your tongue and gums, which result in foul-smelling gases released from your mouth. Their build up result in gum disease and tooth decay.

How to prevent bad breath?

Poor oral hygiene can result in bad breath as well, find out if you’re skipping important oral regimes:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Use mouthwash, particularly after consuming foods with strong odour
  • Rinse your mouth after meals
  • Floss everyday
  • Clean your tongue
  • Change your toothbrush every three months
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • See the dentist twice a year

There are several medical conditions that can cause bad breath, which we will explore in another health blog.

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