Bad breath in adults is more common than you think. Researchers estimate that over 80 million Americans suffer from chronic halitosis (bad breath). At least 99% of everyone else experience ‘dragon breath’ in the first hours of the morning.
Let’s be honest, everyone develops bad breath at some point in their life. It could be because you ate a plate full of garlicky curry, or maybe it has been quite long since you last brushed.
But what a lot of people don’t know, the primary cause of bad breath is usually the bacteria that live in your mouth. When food such as protein breaks down in the mouth, it can release volatile sulfur compounds – these VSCs are extremely smelly.
If bad breath is troubling you, you may want to read ahead. Icon Dental Center experts reveal the secret causes of bad breath and how to eliminate bacteria that is responsible.
Top 5 Surprising Causes of Bad Breath
People mostly blame garlic or excessive smoking as the main reasons causing bad breath. But what you are about to read may surprise you.
Secret Cause 1 – Bacteria Living on Your Tongue
Did you know that the back of your tongue has many crevices and groves? This makes for a perfect place for odor-producing bacteria to call home and grow.
While it is quite common to use a tongue scraper to remove gunk from under and around the tongue, dentists believe this gadget may just not be the right solution.
The real problem is that smell producing bacteria that lives all the way at the back of your tongue. A tongue scraper, no matter how effective it is, can never reach those spots. So your best bet is to use a safe-to-swallow substance that will fight the bacteria in hard to reach places. Bacteria fighting mouth wash is also a good solution, so use it at least once a day, especially before going to bed!
Secret Cause 2 – Onions
Garlic isn’t the only vegetable that causes bad breath in adults – onions are equally effective in building odor-producing bacteria. The vegetable belongs to the Allium Family – and any vegetable belonging to this family has high concentrations of smelly sulfur compounds.
So when you crush onions with your teeth, you create a substance known as allicin, which is also responsible for the strong aroma of onions and garlic. This can leave you with bad breath for hours!
The best way to deal with this problem is to brush and floss immediately. But this doesn’t always work because both onion and garlic can tend to stay in your body for up to two days.
Secret Cause 3 – Dry Mouth
When your mouth is producing saliva adequately, you will likely experience little to no bad breath. Saliva naturally keeps your mouth clean and it even washes away odor-producing bacteria from the back of your tongue. But a lot of people suffer from a dry mouth.
Dry mouth is often the result of prescribed medicines. And if you are regularly taking drugs that cause a dry mouth, you are likely to experience more bad breath.
The solution to this problem is simple – drink plenty of water and keep yourself well-hydrated. If that doesn’t work too well for you, try chewing on some sugar-free gum between the meals. Chewing stimulates your salivary glands and it can help keep your mouth wet.
Secret Cause 4 – Plaque on the Teeth
Did you know that plaque is a bacterial film that can naturally form on your gums and teeth? It can also build-up smelly VSCs.
The best way to deal with this is to see a dentist regularly. At Icon Dental Center, bad breath and plaque removal are just some of the things we look at when you arrive at our clinic for a routine exam.
If you have a reason to believe onions, garlic, or bacteria is not the root cause of bad breath for you, give us a visit at our Seattle or Everette Dentist office for a quick checkup.