The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. Bacteria that build up on your teeth – particularly between them – as well as your tongue and gums, can produce unpleasant-smelling gases. These bacteria are also responsible for gum disease and tooth decay.
Regardless of the term used, this is the presence of a foul-smelling odor that seems to come from the mouth cavity. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, in more than 90% of cases, the odor originates in the mouth, throat, and tonsils. Although this is something everyone experiences at one time or another, if your case does not improve after brushing, flossing, and rinsing the mouth with an alcohol free mouthwash, it may be chronic.
Food is a primary source of bad odors that come from the mouth. Some foods, such as garlic, onions, spicy foods, exotic spices (such as curry), some cheeses, fish, and acidic beverages such as coffee can leave a lingering smell. Most of the time the odor is short lived. Other foods may get stuck in the teeth, promoting the growth of bacteria, which causes bad breath odor. Low carbohydrate diets may also cause “ketone breath.” These diets cause the body to burn fat as its energy source. The end-product of making this energy is ketones, which cause a fruity acetone-like odor on the breath when exhaled.
Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, removing particles that cause bad odors. A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia (zeer–o-STOE-me-uh) can contribute to bad breath because production of saliva is decreased. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep, leading to “morning breath,” and it worsens if you sleep with your mouth open. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by a problem with your salivary glands and some diseases.
It can be caused by residue from acid-forming foods, such as sugar and protein, sticking to the teeth, tongue and mouth. Baking soda can rebalance the levels of acid and help to treat and prevent halitosis. Dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water to make an effective mouth rinse to beat bad breath.
Teeth become stained and discoloured for a number of different reasons, including food, drink, nicotine and alcohol. Baking soda is an effective tooth whitening agent, as it can remove stains from the teeth. For this reason, baking soda is included in many tooth whitening and toothpaste preparations. To whiten your teeth and remove stains, dampen your toothbrush and dip into a small dish of baking soda. Shake off any loose baking soda before brushing your teeth thoroughly. For best results, brush teeth twice a day with baking soda.