Wearing a mask might have caused you to notice that your breath doesn’t smell as great as you thought it did. Not only is bad breath embarrassing, but it could also indicate that there’s a bigger problem at bay. If you want to freshen your breath, we recommend finding out what the cause of your bad breath is in the first place. Once you figure out the cause, you can make changes in your life so you never have to worry about gagging behind your mask ever again.

1. Certain Foods and Spices

Aside from poor oral hygiene, another common cause of bad breath is the food you eat. Food with a strong smell and flavor is usually the culprit. These include garlic, onions, cheese, and soda to name a few. Garlic and onions, in particular, can cause bad breath right after consuming them.

You can get rid of the odor by brushing and flossing, but only temporarily. They continue to produce the bad odor long after you’ve eaten them. This is because they get absorbed into the bloodstream and expel from the body through the lungs.

Therefore, the best way to prevent bad breath caused by these foods is to reduce your consumption as much as possible.

woman covering up her mouth due to bad breath

2. Systemic Diseases

Certain systemic conditions can also have bad breath as one of its manifestations. These include diabetes, liver diseases, kidney disorders, respiratory problems, cancers, and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Problems of the upper respiratory tract, for instance, produce sputum that can be coughed up into the cavity, causing halitosis.

If your dentist identifies the systemic problem as the cause. He or she will refer you to a physician for proper management.

3. Malnutrition

Starvation, whether intentional or not, can cause bad breath due to the breakdown of certain chemicals as the body tries to desperately come up with the lack of available energy sources from food. If this is the case, you will be advised to eat right. When you don’t eat regularly, your body doesn’t produce enough saliva. Saliva is vital for breaking down food particles and washing away bacteria in your mouth. If you don’t eat very often, saliva isn’t there to wash away the bacteria that’s causing your bad breath.

4. You Just Woke Up

Most people wake up to less than perfect breath. There’s no way to really avoid morning breath. So why does it happen? When you sleep, the bacteria that’s in your mouth take advantage of the slowed production of saliva in your mouth. Your breath smells so bad in the morning because the smelly bacteria has been sitting in your mouth all night without being washed away by your saliva. Once you brush your teeth, your breath will be back to normal!

5. Mouth Breathing

Breathing through your nose is one of the best ways to maintain fresh breath. However, if you have a stuffy nose or other issues that cause you to breathe only through your mouth, you might notice that your breath doesn’t smell that great. This is because breathing through your mouth dries out your mouth which means bacteria isn’t being washed away. The only way to address bad breath related to mouth breathing is to fix the problem causing you to breathe through your mouth in the first place. Try talking to an ear, nose, and throat doctor.

6. Smoking

Smoking cigarettes won’t just cause cancer and increase your risk of cardiovascular problems, it can lead to some serious halitosis. It causes bad breath first because of the smell of smoke. The smoke tends to linger on your breath which can make your mouth smell a lot like an ashtray. Next, smoking dries out the mouth which means that saliva isn’t washing away bacteria as often as it should. If bacteria and smoke linger in your mouth, it’s going to cause bad breath. Pro tip: quit smoking for better breath and overall health.

7. Post-Nasal Drip

The mucus in your nose isn’t just a clear liquid, it’s filled with foreign particles that you breathe in with every breath. If you’re suffering from allergies or a bad cold, this mucus will build up in the back of your throat and travel into your mouth where it will rest on your tongue which will cause bad breath. If you’re sick, consider taking cold medicine to control the mucus. If you suffer from allergies, allergy medicine should help you avoid bad breath from post-nasal drip.

8. You’re on a Low-Carb Diet

Slashing carbs might seem like a great idea to lose weight but it can result in a multitude of problems like constipation and bad breath. The cause of bad breath on a low carb diet is from your body releasing certain chemicals that burn fat. Try brushing your teeth more often on a low carb diet or introducing more carbs to help with the bad breath.

9. You Have Tooth Decay or Bad Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene and tooth decay are some of the top causes of bad breath. If you don’t brush and floss away bacteria every day, it will stick on your teeth as plaque and eventually harden into tartar which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. As the bacteria lingers in your mouth, it will result in bad breath. Remember to brush and floss regularly and visit our San Diego dentist for regular dental cleanings.

10. You Wear a Dental Appliance

Whether you wear a retainer, Invisalign, night guard, mouth guard, oral appliance, or dentures, it’s important to clean them every day. If you don’t clean them, food particles and bacteria will stick to them and accumulate smelly plaque that will cause bad breath.

Visit Our San Diego Dentist for Fresh Breath

Whether your oral health is the cause of your bad breath or not, if you have bad breath that won’t go away, please contact Irresistible Smiles to schedule a consultation with our San Diego dentist by calling (619) 656-6785. During your consultation, we will help identify the causes of your bad breath and provide you with treatments and tips to combat bad breath.