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Bad breath, also called halitosis, afflicts up to 50% of adults at some point. There are multiple probable causes for halitosis, which range from the mild to the serious. Before jumping to more serious conclusions, however, consider these common causes of bad breath:

 

Bacteria: One of the most common causes of bad breath is the presence of microflora–hundreds of kinds of bacteria which live in your mouth. Many of the bacteria live on your tongue. When you floss and brush your teeth, be sure to brush your tongue, as well. Alternatively, you can use a tongue scraper to gently remove the filmy bacteria.

 

Dry Mouth: Certain conditions can cause dry mouth, such as taking certain medications, salivary gland troubles, or breathing through your mouth frequently. Saliva works to clean out your mouth, 24/7. If you don’t have enough saliva, your mouth doesn’t get as clean as it needs to be, and so increases instances of bad breath.

 

Foods: Some foods contain compounds cause halitosis. Some smells are very persistent, such as onion or garlic, and so are perhaps best avoided before a date or a job interview.

 

If you brush and floss every day, clean your tongue, and avoid dry mouth–yet still deal with consistent bad breath–it would be wise to consult your dentist. Halitosis can occasionally be a sign of advanced periodontal disease, or other serious medical conditions. To schedule an appointment in Kennebunk, Maine, call Kennebunk Center for Dentistry at 207-985-7944. Dr. Sara Sheikh and our team look forward to seeing you!