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Do I have bad breath?

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

At some point in our life, we all question if we suffer from bad breath. With all of us wearing masks, we don't need to question that anymore!

But, what causes bad breath? Most people have had it at least once, so it makes sense that there are some common causes. As it turns out, there are! To start, anyone with bad oral habits is likely to have bad breath. That means if you're not brushing, flossing, cleaning your tongue, or seeing a dentist regularly, you should expect to experience bad breath soon enough. Keep in mind, however, that bad breath can also occur when food remains in your mouth, in your tongue, or between your teeth even after brushing. Basically, these small bits of food begin to rot and start to smell.

Major causes of bad breath:

  • The tongue: The tongue harbors many bacteria that are some of the major causes of bad breath.

  • Gum disease: At its extreme, gingivitis can lead to tooth loss. But more often, it's one of the main causes of bleeding gums and bad breath.

  • Food: Certain foods, such as garlic, onions, cheeses, and dairy, are common causes of bad breath. When you eat smelly foods, the digestive process releases strong gases that smell unpleasant; these gases can be released 24 hours after you've eaten that stinky item.

  • Cavities -- A dental cavity is the result of tooth decay, which is an oral disease. When your teeth have decayed, it's not uncommon for the decay to produce an odor -- bad breath.

Now that you know what causes bad breath, it's time to go over what you're probably most interested in: how to get rid of bad breath.

  • Brush twice a day (morning & night)

  • Floss your teeth at least once a day

  • Use the backside of your toothbrush or a tongue cleaner to clean your tongue.

  • Visit your dentist or dental hygienist at least every 6 months

Bad breath test:

  • Use hand sanitizer that is at least 70% based ethanol to disinfect your hands

  • Lick the backside of your hand

  • Wait until saliva is completely dry

  • Smell your hand

Why should I care?

Without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

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