dentist holding her nose and patient with open mouth

Bad breath is one of those problems people are too embarrassed to talk about. Not only because it’s an unpleasant issue, but also because its leading cause is poor dental habits. Who would want to admit that they’re slacking off on tooth brushing, right?

But, here’s the thing — even if you do have the best, no-fail hygiene, you could still suffer halitosis. Here are what might be the culprits behind it:

1. You breathe with your mouth.

When you’re asleep, saliva production decreases. This causes bad breath in the morning. If you have the habit of breathing through your mouth, say, when you snore, the release of saliva is further reduced, thereby making you more vulnerable to halitosis.

You need to address this habit quickly. Otherwise, you might experience more serious problems, such as sore throat, difficulty speaking and swallowing, changes in taste and smell, and even hassles wearing dentures.

Among kids, mouth breathing often contributes to crooked teeth, which necessitates the use of braces. In Delano, CA, dentists advise adults to watch out for the signs of mouth breathing and consult a dentist for appropriate treatments.

2. You’re on a low-carb diet.

Cutting down on carbs might shed the few extra fats off your body, but it won’t help in the dental department. Low-carb diets, such as keto and paleo, force the body to break down fat for energy, creating wastes called ketones. You excrete these wastes in two ways: through urine or breath.

With the latter, you’d notice a stinky, rotten-fruit-like odor. Not exactly the ‘body goals’ you were going for, right? Note that it’s possible to have a good body and fresh breath. The key is to just have a balanced diet. Eat food rich in nutrients your body needs in moderation and with good portion control.

Woman covering mouth

3. You have misaligned teeth.

Malocclusion creates so many hard-to-reach corners in the mouth, in which food residue can get stuck. So over time, this leads to bad breath as well as cavities and gum disease — problems that also affect the odor of your breath.

This is the reason straightening teeth isn’t just for enhancing your appearance. It’s primarily for maintaining good oral health. It’s not too late for orthodontic treatments if you’re already well into adulthood.

If you’ve delayed treatments before because of the ugly-looking metal appliances strapped on to the mouth, you don’t have to resort to that. There are lots of options already apart from the traditional braces. You can go for Invisalign or invisible aligners for a seamless look.

4. You smoke.

The chemicals in tobacco products cause bad breath. The smoking habit also dries out the mouth. And for sure, you know that this routine isn’t just a wrecker of fresh breath, but of oral health, putting you at risk for gum disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, and more.

It’s hard to quit the habit, but the first step to finally doing it is to make the resolve that you’d quit. With a firm decision, you’d be compelled to get into your dentist’s smoking cessation programs, be accountable to your loved ones, and take control of your triggers.

Bad breath is an embarrassing problem, which is exactly why it has to be talked about. Consult your doctor about it to know how you can address this health issue.