There are different causes of bad breath. Here are some of the common causes.
•Poor oral hygiene. If you do not brush teeth frequently, bad breath can result. If plaque is not brushed away, it can irritate the gums, causing additional issues.
The tongue can also harbour bacteria that produce foul odours and bad breath, so make sure you brush your tongue as well. Close monitoring works best in children.
•Cavities in teeth. If you have holes in your teeth, they usually keep food and once it rots from within, it will cause bad breath.
•Dry mouth. Saliva helps to cleanse the mouth. When your mouth is producing less saliva than normal, and this will eventually contribute to bad breath.
•Mouth breathing. When one breathes through his or her mouth (due to a stuffy nose or as a sleep habit), it prevents saliva from washing away bacteria, and this promotes bad breath.
•Infections in the mouth. Bad breath can also come about as a result of cavities, plaque buildup and mouth sores.
•Certain foods. If you consume foods that have a strong odour, like garlic, onions or specific spices, it can impact the freshness of your breath.
•Medications. Sometimes, the way medication breaks down in the body can lead to bad breath. This process releases chemicals that may result in bad breath.
Getting rid of the problem
•Brush twice a day with recommended fluoride toothpaste to promote fresh breath.
•Have your teeth with cavities properly filled with the appropriate dental cement.
•Once in a while, introduce flossing as this will help remove odor causing food particles from the teeth.
•Remember to get a new toothbrush every few months (at most three months), because dull bristles cannot effectively remove plaque and debris from the teeth.
•Avoid halitosis and other oral health concerns by scheduling regular checkups and professional cleanings with a dentist.
The writer is a dentist