Bad Breath: What Causes It, and How Can You Treat It?

A woman with breath covering her mouth to hide her bad breath

Bad breath can be an embarrassing hassle to deal with, but most of the time, the underlying cause is serious. While being embarrassed is bad enough, bad breath can indicate health problems you don’t want to ignore.

Read on to learn about what causes bad breath and how to treat it.

Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath can stem from a number of causes, but the most common is poor oral hygiene. Improperly caring for your teeth and gums can result in bacteria developing in hard-to-reach places (such as the crevices between teeth). As this bacteria grows, it can produce a foul smell.

Bacteria turns into plaque buildup, which leads to the development of gum disease and tooth decay, both of which also cause a person’s breath to smell unpleasant.

Other causes of bad breath include:

  • Eating strong-scented food without brushing after meals
  • Dehydration and dry mouth
  • Infections in the mouth
  • Using tobacco products
  • Certain medications
  • Health conditions involving the nose, throat, or mouth
  • Cancers, metabolic disorders, and acid reflux

Treating Bad Breath

Depending on the cause of a person’s bad breath, there are several things that can be done to treat it. When the issue stems from poor oral hygiene, simply taking better care of the teeth and gums by brushing and flossing is an effective treatment.

Smoking cessation can help relieve bad breath brought on by using tobacco.

Further, visiting a healthcare provider to have a full health evaluation performed can help rule out diseases and other health conditions that might lead to bad breath.

Staying hydrated throughout the day can help prevent bad breath that’s brought on by dry mouth and dehydration.

Finally, visiting a dentist for routine care (at least twice per year) will effectively combat the development of bad breath. A dental professional can evaluate the health of the mouth, determine whether infections are present, and perform deep cleanings if needed. In addition, a dentist can assist individuals who deal with bad breath by recommending the right treatment options to implement at home.

If you’re struggling with the negative effects of bad breath, contact Golden Heart Dental at 907-328-0868 or schedule a checkup. Our team will examine your mouth and determine the cause of your bad breath.