Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, is caused by several things.
Bacteria inside the mouth is the most common cause of bad breath. Bacteria grows as a result of poor dental hygiene.
What you put in your mouth is another underlying factor in bad breath. If last night’s dinner is still lingering, garlic or onions might be to blame. Drinking alcoholic beverages or coffee can also leave you needing a breath mint or three. And if you followed your meal with an after-dinner cigarette, your breath might really be in trouble.
If bad breath is chronic, lasting more than a few days, an underlying health problem may be at the root of the issue.
Bad breath is sometimes caused by:
- Chronic acid reflux
- Chronic dry mouth
- Kidney failure
- Tooth decay or gum disease, which results from plaque build-up
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Untreated tonsilitis, allergy-related postnasal drip or respiratory infections like sinusitis or bronchitis
How to Treat Bad Breath
The good news is that while bad breath can be frustrating, it’s often short-term and treatable.
Quick fixes include:
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily
Stopping the use of tobacco products
Treating allergies to reduce postnasal drip
If your bad breath lasts more than a few days, call your doctor. Because conditions like diabetes and kidney failure pose a serious risk to your overall health, it’s important to discuss chronic bad breath with a medical professional.