What Causes Bad Breath?


Bad breath happens to almost everybody, even to people who don’t care to admit it. While chronic bad breath (also known as halitosis) might have more serious causes, occasional bad breath can be prevented fairly easily with good oral care.

What Causes Bad Breath?

In the majority of cases, bad breath is caused by the presence of oral bacteria1. Bacteria can form on the tongue when you forget to brush properly, become dehydrated, or have dry mouth due to medications you may be taking that reduce saliva in your mouth. However, you can take these easy steps to help keep your tongue free of bacteria and your breath feeling fresh.

Ways to Protect Against Bad Breath

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with an Oral-B Electric Toothbrush to remove plaque bacteria. Follow up with a good tongue brushing. Pay special attention to the back of your tongue, where most odor-causing bacteria are found.

  • Floss effectively to help remove food particles. If reaching back teeth is difficult, a floss holder can help.

  • Round out your routine with a mouthwash that fights bad breath to keep your mouth at its freshest.

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. The amount of water you need will vary based on your daily activity level and the number of medications you take that cause dry mouth.

  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production. Eating a mint is a temporary but less recommended method for breath freshening because it can leave a sugary residue behind.

  • Chronic bad breath may be a symptom of a more serious condition, so you should consult a dental professional or medical professional.

  • Learn which foods can cause bad breath.

  • Consider limiting behaviors that can intensify bad breath, such as drinking alcohol or smoking.

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