Six Common Causes of Bad Breath
Bad breath is a problem that many people encounter, or deal with personally, on a daily basis. If you or someone you know is suffering from chronic bad breath, here are a few common causes of bad breath.
- Your Diet: Everyone can recognize bad breath caused by coffee, garlic, or onions but it’s not just the obviously pungent foods that cause bad breath. The truth is, bad breath consists of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). You may not consider that cheeseburger as something that causes bad breath; however, it still provides protein for oral bacteria to eat and convert into sulfur gas. This is part of the reason people on low-carb, high-protein diets tend to have a bad breath problem. Ketosis, another side effect of low-carb high-fat dieting, also causes bad breath.
- Smoking and Chewing Tobacco: Smoking and using chewing tobacco habitually is known to be detrimental to your overall oral health and cause gingivitis, bleeding gums, and halitosis. It’s not just the smoke itself that causes a stink. The use of tobacco products actually causes soft tissue damage in your mouth, meaning it facilitates an environment that is ideal for protein consuming bacteria, resulting in foul-smelling breath. Regular habits that cause tooth decay, gingivitis, or bleeding gums are certain to make eliminating bad breath more difficult.
- Poor Dental Hygiene: If you don’t brush and floss regularly, little pieces of food will linger in your mouth and in between your teeth causing unpleasant mouth odor. These bits of food debris can hide and provide a sulfur-producing feast for bacteria. Using floss to mechanically remove these deposits is a tried and true method of improving oral health. Simply killing germs isn’t enough to prevent halitosis. Germ-killing rinses claim to destroy almost all oral bacteria; however, bacteria found in biofilm are incredibly resilient. Alcohol and many germ killers are incapable of penetrating these biofilms, which means any bacteria killed in your saliva will be quickly replaced by another bacterium. SmartMouth’s activated zinc-ion technology is capable of penetrating biofilms and binding to receptors that allow bacteria to consume protein. These bonded zinc ions prevent oral bacteria from eating protein and producing sulfur gas for a full 12 hours per rinse. No sulfur gas? No bad breath!
- Dry Mouth: When there’s a decrease in saliva production in your mouth dryness occurs, this is called dry mouth or is also known as Xerostomia. Saliva helps cleanse your mouth of bad odor, so when there’s little saliva production you develop bad breath. If you can feel dry mouth, then you already have bad breath! There are an enormous number of causes of dry mouth. From medication to poor oral hygiene to sleeping with one’s mouth open, this is an issue that impacts a large portion of the population. Dry mouth tends to affect the old and elderly more than young people. This is partly to do with older people taking more medication that lists dry mouth as a side effect. Additionally, it impacts more women than men. Diseases that cause dry mouth, including Sjogren’s Syndrome, effect females disproportionately higher than males.
- Low-Carb, High-Protein Dieting: As we now know, the true cause of bad breath is oral bacteria consuming protein and giving off sulfur gas (VSCs). It’s perfectly logical, then, that diets that provide more protein to these germs will result in bad breath. South Beach, Atkins, Paleo, and Keto are all distinct diets with unique differences. However, the fact that they all require Low-Carb consumption with relatively high-protein or high-fat intake means that each of these lifestyles is likely to impact your breath negatively. In many of these communities, they have a name for this surprisingly putrid breath: “dragon breath”. And if you’ve ever spoken to someone face-to-face who follows these eating patterns and does not take special care to remedy their breath, you’ll quickly notice.
- Other Causes: Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is the reflux of stomach acids can also be the cause of bad breath. Chronic reflux disease is when food or liquid from your stomach moves up into your esophagus, causing a bad mouth odor. Other diseases and illnesses including metabolic disorders, certain cancers, diabetes, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, and liver or kidney trouble can lead to bad breath because of the compounds these diseases produce.
If you or someone you know suffer from bad breath, make these lifestyle changes regarding your oral hygiene. A simple way to combat bad breath could be using an oral rinse such as SmartMouth, which offers multiple mouthwash products including a dry mouth option. If your bad breath continues to persist, consult a doctor or physician for further assistance.