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November 16 2009

What Causes Bad Breath

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Bad breath (halitosis) is not only an embarrassing oral health problem, it also causes social stigma especially to the person who doesn’t know that he has one. So, what causes bad breath and what steps should be taken to prevent you from having this malodorous oral condition?

First, you have to find out what causes the bad breath. Other than problems in oral health, halitosis  can be attributed to the food you eat, smoking, medications you take and other illnesses.

Here are some of the contributing factors of bad breath:

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  • There are certain foods such as garlic, onion and spices that contribute to the unpleasant odor. Brushing and flossing only masks the smell. The only way to eliminate bad breath as a result of the food you eat is by reducing the amount of these kinds of foods or totally eliminate it from your diet.
  • If you regularly go on diets, you are a candidate for bad breath. Infrequent eating causes bad breath.
  • Dry mouth or xerostomia also causes bad breath. Saliva is a natural cleansing agent that keeps the mouth moist. Problems in the salivary glands and certain medications may cause dryness of the mouth.
  • Smoking.
  • Bad breath can be a sign of other diseases that affects the lungs, stomach and liver.
  • If you don’t brush and floss regularly and properly, food particles left in your mouth and in between the teeth will rot and form bacteria. This will result to plaque, decay and if left untreated, periodontal disease.

Regular visits to your dentist will help in the prevention of bad breath causing problems such as dry mouth and gum disease. A good oral hygiene is important in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. If you think that your bad breath is attributed to a serious medical illness other than dental problems, it is best to seek medical advice right away.

To learn more about oral hygiene and periodontal diseases, contact our Ft Lauderdale dentist at