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Bad breath: causes and the best tips

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Everyone finds bad breath unpleasant. But how is the bad-smelling air actually created and what helps? Here are the best tips.

What is bad breath?

Bad breath is generally understood to mean bad breath that flows out of the mouth. In some cases the bad smell also escapes through the nose (“halitosis”). In a good 90 percent of cases, the cause of this lies in the mouth itself (“foetor ex ore” = bad smell from the mouth), for example poor oral hygiene. But also various luxury foods such as coffee or alcohol as well as various diseases promote bad breath. Depending on the trigger, brushing your teeth or chewing gum can often help to get rid of bad breath.

Bad breath
Bad breath

Causes of Bad Breath

Depending on whether the bad air you breathe comes only from the mouth or from the nose, there can be different causes. These include:

Bad breath only comes from the mouth:

  • Various dishes, e.g. B. onions or garlic
  • Poor oral hygiene, e.g. B. by brushing your teeth too rarely or eating residues in the mouth
  • Dental problems, e.g. B. Toothache caused by caries ( toothache home remedies can be found here), inflammation of the gums or tartar
  • Coating on the tongue (caused by bacteria)
  • Soft drinks such as coffee or alcohol
  • Little salivation, e.g. B. due to a dry mouth
  • Smoke
  • Malnutrition
  • Infections in the oral cavity, e.g. B. by mushrooms
  • Various diseases promote bad breath, e.g. B. Salivary gland diseases, oral mucous membrane or tonsillitis

Bad breath from the mouth and nose:

  • Various foods such as garlic or onions cause bad breath
  • Poisoning
  • Chronic diseases, e.g. B. chronic sinus infection or runny nose
  • Tumors
  • heartburn
  • Respiratory diseases such as purulent bronchitis
  • Stomach disorders such as stomach ulcers or cancer
  • Esophageal disease
  • Intolerance or allergies to certain foods, e.g. B. in celiac disease
  • Intestinal obstruction, kidney or liver failure

While there are many possible underlying conditions that can cause bad breath, most of them are unlikely to happen. First of all, you should always check your own oral hygiene. If you brush your teeth two to three times a day, you shouldn’t have bad breath. The next obvious cause are possible dental problems such as tooth decay, even if you may not yet notice them through pain or the like. The only way to do this is to go to the dentist. They can check the teeth, but also look directly for other possible triggers for bad breath such as an infection or gum inflammation.

Tooth decay, dental care and more: the best tips against bad breath

Depending on the cause of the bad breath, various tips can help to get rid of bad breath. However, serious underlying diseases must first be treated before something can be done about bad breath. These tips will also help:

  • Pay attention to good dental care through correct teeth cleaning: brushing your teeth two to three times a day, the use of small brushes for the interdental spaces, dental floss and the use of a mouth rinse are useful against bad breath[1]
  • Go to regular dental care
  • Luxury foods such as coffee etc. should only be consumed in moderation
  • Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water
  • Food that produces bad scents should only be eaten in exceptional cases
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