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You are here:Home > Health Topics > What Causes Bad Breath


In This Article:

Foods That Cause Bad Breath

Your Habits Can Cause Bad Breath

Bad Breath May be a Sign of Poor Health

Medications That Can Cause Bad Breath

Home Remedies to Fight Bad Breath

You would be surprised what the many causes of bad breath are, and learning about them can help you have fresh breath. The obvious causes of bad breath are typically the food you eat. However, besides food other causes include emotional stress, dieting and even the medications you may be taking.

Foods That Cause Bad Breath

The foods that most often cause bad breath include:
  • Onion and garlic are at the top of the list. The strong odor stays in the system and lingers in the mouth. Every time you open your mouth, the odor of garlic and onion is expelled. Sulfur compounds are the cause of foods such as garlic causing bad breath. Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSC) are the bacterial by-products from sulfur, that cause bad breath.

  • Coffee and alcohol tend to dry the mouth. Bacteria thrive in a dry environment, causing bad breath.

  • Sugary foods are a great food source for bacteria. Drinking frequent soft sports drinks and soda pops contribute to plaque build-up and bad breath.

  • Meat, candies or any food that sticks to the surfaces of the teeth, will also linger there and get stuck in hard to clean areas. Odor causing bacteria will accumulate in those hard to reach places and will cause bad breath. Popcorn is another type of food, though not sticky, will get stuck between the gums. If not removed, bad breath will result.

Your Habits Can Cause Bad Breath

Dry mouth causes bad breath. There are many causes of dry mouth. They include tobacco, dehydration (not drinking enough water), alcohol, daily use of mouthwash with alcohol, eating excessive amount of protein and sticky candy.

If you have a denture and don't daily clean it properly, it will cause bad breath. Same with those who have braces or a fixed bridge. If not properly cleaned, bacteria in the form of plaque accumulate in hard to reach areas, causing bad breath. Also, if you don't
brush and floss properly daily, you will have bad bread.

Bad Breath May be a Sign of Poor Health

Poor health, whether it's physical or emotional, affects your body. Stress, eating disorders such as bulimia, constant dieting, hormonal imbalance, mouth breathing, salivary gland diseases, autoimmune disorders and tumors of the head and neck can cause bad breath. Once the body becomes healthy, bad breath becomes easy to manage.
Medications that Cause Bad Breath

Certain medications cause dry mouth, called xerostomia, that can cause bad breath. If you are taking any of the medications below and suffer with chronic bad breath, ask your physician if your medication may have a side effect of bad breath or bad taste in the mouth resulting in bad breath.

Medications that can lead to some form of bad breath include:
  • Diuretics
  • Antihistamine
  • Antianxiety drugs
  • Anticholinerigic/antispasmodic
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressant
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Antihypertensive
  • Anti-inflammatory analgesic
  • Anti-psychotic
  • Decongestant
  • Muscle relaxant
  • Narcotic pain medicine
  • Sedatives

Home Remedies to Fight Bad Breath

Just as certain foods cause bad breath, others can help remove it.
  • Fresh parsley and mint will help freshen breath.

  • Drink plenty of water. Water is considered a universal solvent. It will flush out anything. It also helps promote flow of saliva, which helps the good bacteria thrive over the bad odor causing ones.

  • Chew gum with Xylitol. Xylitol is showing great promise in studies for several reasons. It helps increase saliva which helps fight acid in the mouth. Xylitol also helps prevent tooth decay. Studies report chewing gum with Xylitol for 5 minutes, 3 times a day, can help prevent tooth decay by 60%-70%.

    Recommended Products to Prevent Bad Breath

  • sls-free toothpaste flavorless chewing gum for bad breath alcohol free mouthwash

    Oral Health Articles by Dr. Flora Parsa Stay

    How the Mouth Affect's Women's Health
    Gum Disease and Heart Disease
    Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid
    Get Rid of Constant Bad Breath
    Dry Mouth & Mouth Sores
    Healthy Snacks for Healthy Teeth
    How to Brush and Floss Your Teeth Properly