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Breathtaking news: Halitosis can impact your health and relationships

Bad breath can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem that affects many people. It is often overlooked or dismissed as a minor issue, but bad breath can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life, as well as your overall health. 

Causes of bad breath: Poor oral hygiene and more 

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by several factors, including poor oral hygiene, certain foods and drinks, tobacco use, dry mouth, and underlying medical conditions. 

Poor oral hygiene: Bacteria buildup 

Poor oral hygiene is a common cause of bad breath, as bacteria can build up in the mouth and produce unpleasant odors. Certain foods and drinks, such as garlic, onions and coffee can also cause bad breath due to their strong odors. Smoking or using other tobacco products can also cause bad breath, as well as increase the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. 

Dry mouth: Lack of saliva and its effects 

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can be caused by medications, certain medical conditions, or simply not drinking enough water. When the mouth is dry, there is less saliva to wash away bacteria and food particles, leading to bad breath. 

Other contributors to bad breath 

Underlying medical conditions can also cause bad breath, such as respiratory infections, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and gastrointestinal issues. 

Treating bad breath: Addressing the root cause 

To treat bad breath, it's important to address the underlying cause. Improving oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash can help reduce bacteria in the mouth. Avoiding foods and drinks that cause bad breath and quitting smoking can also help. Drinking plenty of water and chewing sugarless gum can help stimulate saliva production and alleviate dry mouth. 

Seek professional help when needed 

If bad breath persists despite these measures, it's important to see a dentist or doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing the problem. 

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Profile picture for user Dr. Chris Snyder
Christopher
Snyder, DO
Contributing Author
& Article Expert
Chris Snyder, DO, is the medical expert on the popular Get Well Delmarva podcast Dr. Taboo. Dr. Snyder attended Salisbury University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirsville, Mo., and ...
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