The causes of halitosis are so numerous that listing them all could take a while. Primarily, bad breath comes from dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, savory foods, postnasal drip and tonsil stones. However, many of these problems are not so much preventable as treatable, usually with a specialty breath freshener. Among preventable oral issues and hygiene habits, which agent of bad breath is the most potent?
A team of dental researchers at Kuwait's College of Health Sciences recently set out to find the answer. After all, eating garlic can cause halitosis, but in the long run is this as likely to stink up one's mouth as smoking or neglecting to brush?
Researchers administered a survey among more than 1,500 participants to find out. More than 23 percent of respondents reported having oral odor, though the true number of cases of halitosis was probably significantly higher.
The lifestyle factor most closely related to bad breath was the use of a toothbrush less than once per day. Participants who brushed this often were more than two and a half times more likely to report having oral odor.
Smoking increased the likelihood at about the same rate. Other related factors included not flossing and having chronic sinusitis or gastric problems.
When bad breath spirals out of control, using an oral care probiotic product may bring the mouth's bacterial colonies back into balance.