chewing gumHalitosis. Morning breath. Whatever you call it, bad breath stinks. You may not realize that your own habits are contributing factors. Check out these surprising causes of bad breath:

  1. Your diet. Not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables can actually cause bad breath. The increased saliva production involved in chewing and digesting fruits and vegetables in particular cleans the odor-causing bacteria from your mouth. Too much protein or dairy in your diet generates amino acids, which bacteria thrive on. A high-protein, low-carb diet may be good for your waistline, but when your body starts to burn stored fat, your breath turns foul. In this case, increased oral hygiene won’t help, but eating all food groups in moderation will. Though too much dairy can be a trigger, eating yogurt with probiotics has actually been shown to reduce bad breath. Heavy alcohol consumption is another bad breath contributor. Bad breath has even been linked to obesity, thanks to specific organisms living in the gut of obese people.
  2. Your medications. If you’re on a medication that causes or contributes to dry mouth, you’re depriving your mouth of the saliva necessary to rinse away bacteria that cause bad breath. Common meds that incite dry mouth are those used to treat depression, allergies, obesity, nerve pain, anxiety, seizure disorders, reflux, colds and high blood pressure. Even aspirin can contribute to dry mouth. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of adjusting your medications that cause dry mouth, and we can prescribe a mouthwash or medication to combat dry mouth and increase your saliva flow.
  3. Your oral hygiene routine. It’s obvious we all need to brush and floss regularly to combat stinky breath. But are you brushing your tongue each time you brush your teeth? Most of the bacteria that cause bad breath live there, so if you’re skipping it, you’re unintentionally upping the stink factor. Pay attention to your mouthwash as well, as those that contain alcohol will dry out your mouth and actually contribute to bad breath.
  4. Skipping breakfast. Morning breath is usually the result of bacteria having a hey-day on your tongue overnight. Even more than brushing and flossing in the morning, eating breakfast stimulates saliva flow for the day, preventing dry mouth and cleansing the tongue of those bacteria.
  5. Your gum of choice. You’re popping in that gum to help with bad breath, right? But only sugar-free gum sweetened with Xylitol prevents the bacteria that causes bad breath.
  6. Ongoing illnesses. Any infection in your mouth is a likely source of bad breath. But colds, respiratory tract infections, pneumonia and sinusitis can also be to blame. The acid from chronic heartburn and reflux can also exacerbate bad breath. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause fruity smelling breath, and an individual in kidney failure has fishy breath. Even certain cancers create a distinctive smelling breath.
  7. Mouth breathing in general dries the mouth of that critical saliva to help wash away bad breath-inducing bacteria. If you snore, you’re breathing with your mouth open all night long, leaving yourself wide open to morning breath. Snoring can also be an indicator of the more serious Obstructive Sleep Apnea, when you actually stop breathing multiple times per night, depriving your body of oxygen and affecting your sleep health and general health. If you snore or are concerned you could have Obstructive Sleep Apnea or another sleep disorder, take our quiz to assess your risk. Caffaratti Dental Group Sleep Solutions may be able to treat your sleep apnea with our oral appliance therapy.

If you’ve tried to freshen your breath to no avail, take heart. We can help. Call Caffaratti Dental Group today at (775) 204-9020 to schedule an appointment and ask about our remedies for bad breath.