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Oral Health Buzz

Halitosis: Causes of Bad Breath

Mary Munier

Is your daily routine causing bad breath? Common halitosis causes include things as simple as the foods we eat or our brushing habits. Review this list to be sure that your daily routine isn't causing bad breath.

  1. Skipping meals: Believe it or not, skipping a meal can make your breath smell bad. According to the American Dental Association, dieters can develop halitosis if they don't eat often enough. To avoid it, try to eat regular meals at least three to four hours apart.
  2. Illness: Take the Colgate Fresh Breath Assessment and you'll learn that your breath is the gateway to your overall health. Conditions such as gum disease, diabetes and even a sinus infection are associated with bad breath. If one of the common remedies for bad breath doesn't clear up your condition, be sure to talk to your doctor or dentist.
  3. Not Brushing Enough: How often do you brush during the day? If you're not brushing at least twice daily for 120 seconds per session, you could be at risk for bad breath. Be sure to brush your tongue, as well. Your tongue harbors just as many odors as the food caught between your teeth!
  4. Brushing at the Wrong Time: Most of us brush in the morning. But if you brush before you eat breakfast, the food you eat at your morning meal can get lodged between teeth. This food collects bacteria and becomes one of the most common halitosis causes.
  5. Potent Foods: Garlic is delicious on your pizza, but it's downright unpleasant on your breath. If you have an occasion where you need your breath to smell especially fresh, skip potent foods such as onions, garlic and even coffee or alcohol.
  6. Dry Mouth: Certain medical treatments and medications can cause your mouth to become dry from lack of saliva also known as xerostomia. Saliva is responsible for clearing away odor-causing cells inside your mouth. If you don't make enough saliva, the cells can stay inside your mouth and cause bad breath.
  7. Tobacco Products: There are dozens of reasons to stop smoking or chewing tobacco and bad breath is one of them. Smokers and chewers often suffer from a residual tobacco smell on their breath and a build up of bacteria inside the mouth that can cause odor.

With a little bit of care and attention to your daily routine, you can keep your breath fresh and your smile inviting.

Learn more about halitosis in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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