5 Main Causes Of Bad Breath And How To Cure It

Nobody wants bad breath. It can be a hard kick to your confidence once you find out you have it, but don’t stress: you can fight it. At our Berwick dental clinic, we have a few tricks to fighting bad breath that we’d like to share with you in today’s blog.

The science behind bad breath

Why do we actually get bad breath? Understanding why it happens may be a key part of combating the issue.

According to the Victorian Government’s Better Health channel, “Halitosis (bad breath) is mostly caused by sulphur-producing bacteria that normally live on the surface of the tongue and in the throat. Sometimes, these bacteria start to break down proteins at a very high rate and odorous volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) are released from the back of the tongue and throat.”


5 root causes of bad breath

#1: Smoking

It’s no surprise that smoking can cause bad breath. In fact, bad breath caused by smoking is a condition that has its own name: smoker’s breath. Smoker’s breath can be caused by:

  • Chemicals from tobacco that remain in the mouth
  • A dry mouth after smoking (which can even lead to other oral hygiene issues)

The only way to truly combat smoker’s breath is to quit smoking altogether. However, at our Berwick dental clinic, we understand this is difficult for most people and can be a long, slow process. If you are concerned about smoker’s breath, you can speak to our dentists to work out a dental care plan that you can implement immediately.


#2: Poor dental hygiene

When you forget to brush and floss daily, food particles build up in your mouth in the form of a sticky film (otherwise known as plaque). Plaque can build up on and around your teeth and can even lead to more serious issues like periodontitis, which is an infection around the teeth.

Not brushing can also cause food particles to build up at the back of your tongue. The tongue is especially good at trapping and holding onto bad odours, which is what eventually causes bad breath in this scenario.


#3: Certain foods

Eating pungent foods such as garlic onion can affect how your breath smells in the short term. This is because they actually release gasses when they are cut or mashed. There are a few different ways to tackle this issue:

  • Eat some other fruits and veggies (such as apples, lettuce or celery) to offset the effects of pungent foods
  • Drink green tea
  • Chew gum or brush your teeth after eating if possible
  • Avoid these foods altogether if you have an important upcoming event that day, such as an interview or networking event.


#4: A dry mouth

Saliva is extremely important for your dental health. Not only does it help hydrate your mouth, it actually cleanses your mouth by removing particles that cause bad breath. Therefore, a dry mouth helps to encourage the production of the bacteria that makes your breath smell bad.

Fun fact: this is the reason we wake up with morning breath! While we are asleep, saliva production is lower, which allows the bacteria to multiply.


#5: Other diseases

Some diseases can cause bad breath because of the chemicals they produce in your body. These illnesses may include:

  • Acid and bile reflux
  • Kidney failure
  • Metabolic dysfunctions
  • Chronic sinusitis


How to cure bad breath

Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for bad breath. However, there are some lifestyle changes you can implement that may help to improve your condition overall. These include:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Cleaning your tongue regularly
  • Following the recommended flossing and brushing routine
  • Using mints, chewing gum or lozenges throughout the day
  • Rinsing with mouthwash after brushing your teeth
  • Cleaning your dentures or retainer nightly
  • Eating more raw, crunchy foods with high water content such as apples and celery

In terms of bad breath that is caused as a side effect of another disease, speak to your dentist to find out the best solution for you. If you have chronic sinusitis, for example, you might find that regularly using a saline nasal spray helps to lessen your symptoms of bad breath.


Looking for a Berwick dental clinic?

Eden Rise Dental is a dental clinic based in Berwick that is dedicated to giving our local community the smiles they deserve. Our friendly dentists are well-versed in many areas of dentistry, including general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, braces and children’s dentistry, to name a few.

Please do not hesitate to call our Berwick dental clinic today on (03) 9702 6111 to schedule an appointment.