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October 28 2009

What Are The Reasons For Bad Breath?

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What are the causes for bad breath? Read and understand about the most common causes for bad breath.

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is a common oral problem and there are many different causes for bad mouth odor.

To know whether you suffer from halitosis, try a simple bad breath test by licking the back of your hand. Wait for the saliva to dry after five seconds and then smell it. If you smell a bad odor, you can be pretty sure that your breath is the same too.

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So What Are The Common Reasons For Bad Breath?

In most cases, bad breath is caused by a build up of excessive oral bacteria in the mouth and tongue as a result of food debris, plaque or gum disease.

Additionally, watch what you eat. Eating certain foods that contains onions or garlic are also known to cause bad breath. That's because they contain odor-causing volatile sulfur compounds which can cause breath to smell. Consumption of certain beverages such as alcohol, coffee or diary products can also cause the breath to smell unpleasant.

Smoking or use of tobacco products irritates the gum, causes loss of taste and discoloration of the teeth. People who smoke are also more likely to suffer from gum disease such as periodontal disease which are known to cause bad breath.

Certain medications like antidepressants, diuretics and aspirin can lead to a decrease in saliva production causing dry mouth (xerostomia). Since our saliva is our body natural mouthwash to help cleanse and reduce bacteria in our mouth, a lack of saliva production can result in our breath smelling bad. Similarly, due to the lack of activity of our salivary glands during sleep, that is also reason why most people wake up in the morining with a foul smelling breath.

On other rare occasions, bad breath can also be cause by other health or medical problems such as infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, throat or tonsil infection, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment.

Remember, the most common causes of bad breath are preventable and can be easily treated once the sufferer understands the fundamental causes of their bad breath.