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Do you ever find yourself avoiding conversation or turning away from someone because you’re self-conscious about your breath? Having bad breath can be embarrassing, but luckily you can resolve the issue with the right oral habits and treatment. Check out our guide to learn some of the reasons for bad breath and what to do for bad breath.

What Can Cause Bad Breath?

It’s easy to spot bad breath, but more difficult to know just how it happens. So what can cause bad breath? The culprit might range from that smelly dinner you had to your prescription medication. Here are a few examples:

1. Poor Oral Health

Your dentist wants you to brush and floss every day, and it’s because good oral habits prevent cavities. Treating your teeth right will also prevent bad breath, keep your gums healthy, and more.  

2. Eating Certain Foods

Onions, garlic, and other ingredients may give your food amazing flavor, but they can also cause bad breath. These foods have strong smells that can carry into your lungs long after you’re done eating. Here are the top five foods that cause bad breath for you:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Tuna 
  • Horseradish
  • Dairy

If it was surprising to see dairy on this list, the reason that dairy causes bad breath is because of naturally occurring bacteria from your tongue that eats the amino acids in dairy products, which results in a foul odor.

3. Drinking Coffee or Alcohol

Coffee and alcohol can lead to bad breath because they both cause the body to produce less saliva, which leads to an increase in bacteria. That bacteria causes odors in the mouth and gives you noticeably bad breath.

4. Digestive Issues

Your mouth and digestive system are all connected, so when another part of your body is having problems, it can be manifest in your mouth. Hence, many digestive issues like acid reflux or constipation can lead to bad breath.

5. Dry Mouth

We already discussed how coffee and alcohol can lead to bad breath because they decrease the saliva in your mouth. Having a perpetually dry mouth can give you bad breath for the same reason. This explains why many people wake up with stale breath. (Most people get a dry mouth when they sleep.)

6. Prescription Medication

Most prescription medications have at least a few possible side effects, and certain ones may cause dry mouth. That dry mouth means there’s less saliva to flush out odor-causing bacteria. Some medications also carry odor-causing chemicals through the bloodstream and into your mouth.

Opioid epidemic, drug abuse and overdose concept with scattered prescription opioids spilling from orange bottle with copy space. Hydrocodone is the generic name for a range of opiate painkillers

What To Do For Bad Breath

Now you know many of the reasons for bad breath and what’s probably causing the unpleasant odor coming from your mouth, and you’re anxious to get rid of it. Here’s what to do for bad breath:

1. Good Oral Health

As with many oral health issues, the best way to prevent and get rid of problems is by having good hygiene. Avoid bad breath by brushing and flossing your teeth every morning and night, and by visiting your dentist twice a year.

2. Mouthwash

Mouthwash is another important part of good hygiene. And when you have bad breath, it becomes an absolute essential. Rinse and gargle with alcohol-free mouthwash every day to minimize foul-smelling breath.

3. Oral Medicines

If you suffer from persistent halitosis or severe bad breath for any other reason, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication to combat the problem. Talk to your doctor to find out if an oral medication is right for you.

Visit South Temple Dental

Regular dental visits are vital to proper oral hygiene. Whether you’re suffering from bad breath or just want to keep up on your oral health, book a visit at South Temple Dental. We accept new patients and offer a full range of dental services. Don’t wait to book your appointment—contact us today.