The causes of bad breath

The causes of bad breath

One in five people suffers from bad breath. We outline the main causes so you know what to watch out for to eliminate it.

There are certain things you wish others would point out to you, like food stuck between your teeth or … the fact that your breath isn’t fresh. You may not realize that you have bad breath, also known as halitosis or “foetor ex ore,” but it’s very embarrassing and unpleasant for your conversation partner. It’s quite common: one in five people suffer from it. In this article, we outline the main causes. This way, you’ll know what to look out for to deal with it.

Food and medications

Certain foods like garlic, raw onions, cabbage, fats, and proteins can cause bad breath. Halitosis isn’t always a chronic issue—avoiding these culprits can keep your breath fresh. Additionally, some medications dry out your mouth, promoting bacterial growth. Avoiding alcohol and smoking also helps maintain fresh breath.

Bad breath caused by mouth bacteria

Bacteria in your mouth are normal but can contribute to bad breath by converting food remnants and mucus into sulfur gases. This explains why you often wake up with bad breath in the morning—your mouth dries out overnight, giving bacteria a chance to thrive. This issue is easily remedied with a sip of water. However, a consistently dry mouth provides a breeding ground for bacteria. Proper brushing, including your tongue, and regular plaque removal are crucial to preventing bad breath, as plaque is a hotspot for bacteria that can lead to gum inflammation and, again, bad breath.

Other causes of bad breath

Finally, bad breath can be caused by an abscess or fungal infection. Consult your dentist for treatment options!

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