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Do you- or someone you know- have chronically bad breath? There are several reasons why someone’s breath could smell bad- and in some cases, it is a sign of a more serious, underlying medical issue.  

Here are seven causes of bad breath: 

1. Oral Hygiene 

The first and probably most obvious cause of bad breath is poor oral health and hygiene. The bacteria that build up on teeth from food and drink forms tartar- which smells terrible. This trapped food turns to plaque over time, creating a hard, dark substance that results in chronic bad breath. Without dental treatment and care, this can also cause gum disease, which is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. The way to prevent and avoid these repercussions is with regular dental visits that include cleaning, scaling, and a thorough examination.  

2. What You Eat 

Have you heard the expression ‘you are what you eat’? Regarding bad breath, this is true. If you eat a diet rich in spicy, pungent foods like garlic, onions, and strong herbs or spices, you are more likely to have bad breath. In fact, certain odors travel through the bloodstream to be expelled when you breathe- creating bad breath. Furthermore, if you eat a lot of sugar, you could be susceptible to halitosis due to the way that sugar breaks down with the saliva in your mouth.  

3. Keto and Low-Carb Diets 

On the topic of diet, do you follow a keto or low-carb lifestyle? If so, you may be more prone to bad breath. When you do not eat enough- or any- carbohydrates, there is a chemical reaction that leads to bad breath. People that adhere to a keto diet associate this as a side effect of ketosis, which is when the body transitions from burning carbs to burning fats. Unfortunately, there is little that you can do to prevent this condition unless you choose to resume eating carbohydrates, but you can counter with extra vigilant brushing, rinsing with mouthwash, and eating lots of fresh, fragrant herbs in your salads and meals.  

4. Coffee 

Another leading cause of halitosis is probably something that you do every day- drink coffee. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a diuretic. In large amounts, you could become dehydrated which lowers saliva production. When your mouth does not produce enough saliva, and an increase in oral bacteria, the result could be chronic bad breath.  

5. Mouth Breathing 

Are you a mouth breather? If you tend to breathe through your mouth instead of your nose, you may experience dry mouth- which is an actual medical condition. This is when you do not produce enough saliva naturally, so your breath may be a lot like ‘morning breath.’ 

6. Medications 

If you take prescription medications, there is a chance that this is the cause of chronic bad breath. Some medications and over-the-counter drugs possess side effects, including dry mouth and decreased saliva production. Again, this is the perfect recipe for halitosis. 

7. Medical Issues 

Do not ignore bad breath as it could be a symptom of a more serious, underlying medical condition, illness, or infection. Make sure to discuss this symptom with your physician or provider.  

Stay on top of your oral hygiene with regular visits to your dentist at Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry, in Mt Pleasant, SC. Do you live with chronic bad breath? Consider these seven causes and see your provider to rule out a more serious medical condition. Call to schedule your dental exam and cleaning today!