There are several possible causes for bad breath, but in 85-90% of cases, the accumulation of bacteria and food debris on and between the teeth and on the tongue can explain this problem. These accumulations generate volatile sulfur compounds that give off an unpleasant odor when we exhale. There are also some causes that are beyond our control such as menstruation and aging. Both can bring a change in our mouth odor. 

If you have bad breath, it is therefore very wise to check first if you have good oral hygiene. How often do you brush your teeth daily? Do you floss well to remove pieces that can get stuck between your teeth? Do you replace your toothbrush every month? Do you visit your dentist every six months for a dental exam and cleaning? Do you have a buildup of tartar? It is important not to forget the tongue when cleaning our mouth. You can find food particles, bacteria and secretions on the tongue. So get into the habit of cleaning it regularly. However, the toothbrush is not the best tool to clean your tongue. It is recommended to use a tongue cleaner or tongue scraper. Do you have dentures? Hygiene is also important in this case to keep breath smelling fresh – remove and clean your dentures after every meal and brush your gums gently. 

To reduce the risk of having particularly unpleasant morning breath, brush your teeth before going to bed and make sure you breathe through your nose. Since saliva acts as a natural mouthwash, avoid breathing through the mouth at night or during the day as this will dry out your mouth. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water to help prevent your mouth from going dry. 

You should also check the health of your mouth regularly. If your dental health is good and you still have bad breath, it may be a symptom of a more serious problem. You may have a disease such as gingivitis, diseases affecting the supporting tissues of the teeth, plaque, abscesses, thrush, tooth decay, ulcers, xerostomia (dry mouth due to lack of saliva) or other. 

The foods you eat can also affect your breath. Some foods are more aromatic than others. This is the case for onions, garlic, meat, sugar, very fatty or very spicy foods and dairy products. Have a problem with your breath? Examine what you eat. It might be in your best interest to change your diet and also maintain a healthy weight – there is indeed a correlation between being overweight and having bad breath. 

Bad breath can also be a manifestation of a disease other than in the mouth. If you have a sinus infection, a cold or allergies, your breath may be different from what you normally have. In other cases, the problem may be more serious. If you have good oral health and your general health is good, the problem may be an infection of the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, posterior discharge, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, problems with the liver or kidneys (renal failure). Your bad breath may signal that there is an unresolved problem that requires your attention. 

Finally, if you smoke, all the chemicals found in cigarettes absolutely impact the smell of your breath. If all health problems related to smoking have not yet convinced you to quit smoking, maybe your breath will. 

In conclusion, if you have bad breath and your oral hygiene is good, see your dentist at Sky Harbour Dental to make sure you don’t have more serious problems to solve. Meanwhile, here are some tips that can help you have fresh breath: chew gum, use mints or chlorophyll lozenges, chew fennel seeds, fresh parsley or mint leaves, and drink plenty of water or mint teas (peppermint or green) to hydrate your mouth.