The causes of halitosis: A partial rundown
SUMMARY: What are the causes of halitosis? Buckle up. There are quite a few, and what you'll read below isn't even close to a complete list of them.
Posted: January 31, 2012
If you're like most people, you get bad breath from time to time. Oral odor is a fact of life. In a given day, about one-quarter of Americans will have halitosis, often accidentally subjecting their friends, family and coworkers to it. But what are the causes of halitosis?
Well, that's a horse of a different color. You see, scientists don't have much trouble calculating how common bad breath is. But when it comes to listing out all the things that can lead to oral odor? Let's just say that the list will probably always be incomplete.
That said, we can still try, can't we? Here's a short list of the most common causes of halitosis. A full rundown would take up many more pages!
- Dry mouth. If your tongue, palate or throat gets dry, you're much more likely to suffer from bad breath.
- Pungent foods. This one is an oldie but a goodie. Almost everyone knows that consuming garlic, onions, leeks, cabbage, cheese, fatty meats, milk, coffee or alcohol can leave your breath smelling truly awful.
- Poor oral hygiene. The National Institutes of Health notes if you don't take care of your teeth, gums and tongue, it's quite easy to develop chronic halitosis.
- Using tobacco. Not much of a surprise here.
- Post-nasal drip. If your nasal fluids are trickling down your throat, you may find yourself coughing, hacking or swallowing excessively, not to mention suffering from oral odor.
- Dentures, retainers and mouthguards. These oral appliances can act like a Petri dish for halitosis-causing microbes.
The list goes on. You'll notice that a common theme here is the presence of bacteria in your mouth. To this end, treating your bad breath with a specialty oxygenating product can neutralize these microorganisms and freshen your breath simultaneously.