ANYONE can develop bad breath, even those who brush and floss properly.
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It is caused by the food you eat, medication you take and personal habits that provide an environment for bad breath-related bacteria to thrive in.
These bacteria are always present in your mouth but your body has ways of keeping them in check.
Sometimes though those natural defences are insufficient to effectively limit colonies and that is when breath can quickly begin to smell offensive.
Here are some of the most common causes:
Alcohol: This harsh drying agent typically found in beer, wine and cocktails is also an ingredient in many mouthwashes – despite its tendency to cause a dry mouth.
A dry mouth, however, is an unhealthy mouth.
Without the protection of saliva, germs are able to multiply and give you terrible breath.
After a tipple have an 8oz glass of water to rehydrate dry tissue or try an alcohol-free brand.
Foods: Most foods are packed with proteins that bad breath-related bacteria will rapidly covert to smelly waste.
Some foods cause bad breath more than others. Smelly foods such as onions, garlic and curry are well-known culprits but protein-dense foods such as meat, dairy products and beans can also contribute.
More than 75 per cent of commonly prescribed medicines list dry mouth as a potential side effec
Tomatoes, pineapple, citrus fruits and coffee also all contain high levels of acids which cause bacteria to reproduce rapidly.
Apples, celery, cucumber and carrots are natural cleansers.
They increase your mouth’s saliva intake as you chew them.
Smoking: This unpleasant habit dries out the mouth and introduces nicotine and tar which contribute to making an even more unpleasant odour.
Post-nasal drip: Mucus is made of proteins that bacteria find delicious.
When you have post-nasal drip, mucus drains down through your nasal passages and coats the back of the tongue and throat where bacteria live and they are rapidly converted into smelly, sour-tasting compounds.
It is the main cause of bad breath in children as they get a lot of runny noses.
Medications: Many people are unaware medication can give them bad breath and make food taste funny.
More than 75 per cent of commonly prescribed medicines list dry mouth as a potential side effect.
These include antidepressants, antihistamines and some for migraines and seizures.
Gum disease: Bad breath bacteria eat, digest and convert proteins into smelly compounds.
Not only does this cause bad breath to continue, it creates an ever worsening cycle of bad breath and gum disease.
Sulphuric compounds allow bacteria and toxins to penetrate your gumline which worsens the gum disease, causing teeth to loosen and fall out.
The Breath Co Fresh Breath range includes toothpaste, oral rinse and lozenges and costs from £8.99 from Boots nationwide