Just about everyone has bad breath at some point. It is estimated that 25 percent of people across the world are affected by bad breath. Bad breath, or halitosis, can cause a good amount of embarrassment and worry. The good news is that it is typically easy to fix. But what needs to be done to fix it depends on what is causing your bad breath in the first place.

Our friendly and knowledgeable team at Houston Uptown Dentists can help determine the cause of your bad breath so that we can then come up with the right treatment plan for you. But in the meantime, learn more about five surprising causes of bad breath and what you can do to remedy the situation.

Bacteria & Food Debris on Your Tongue

With all the grooves and crevices on your tongue, it’s the perfect place for bacteria to gather and grow. Regardless of how well you brush and floss your teeth, bacteria and food debris can accumulate on your tongue, creating a foul odor.

Some people have found it useful to use a tongue scraper to clean bacteria and residue off their tongue, while others have found that a manual toothbrush does just as good of a job. No matter what tool you decide to use, cleaning your tongue can make a significant difference in the freshness of your breath.

Plaque on Your Teeth

Plaque is a film loaded with bacteria that naturally forms on your teeth and gums. When this plaque isn’t removed by brushing or flossing, it will accumulate and begin to give off a nasty smell. This is why proper dental care is so important.

Brush thoroughly for two minutes and then floss between each of your teeth, paying close attention to the area near your gums. You can then finish with an antiseptic mouthwash that will further freshen your breath.

The Food You Eat

This likely doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, but some of the food you eat can contribute to bad breath. Vegetables that are a member of the Allium family are especially good for your overall health, but they contain high concentrations of sulfur compounds that create quite a stench. Vegetables in the Allium family include garlic, onion, leeks, and shallots.

Because of their health benefits, you shouldn’t give these vegetables up completely. Brush and floss after eating them to freshen your breath or acknowledge that lingering odors are a consequence of eating these healthy, natural foods.

Some Medical Conditions

Bad breath can sometimes be a sign of gum disease, but it can also be a symptom of certain medical conditions. Uncontrolled diabetes, allergies, and lactose intolerance have also been known to cause bad breath. If you’ve tried several remedies to freshen your breath with no luck, talk to your dentist or your doctor about other possible causes.

For more information on how to keep your breath fresh and your mouth healthy, call Houston Uptown Dentists today at 832-463-1021. You can also contact us using our online form. We can answer any questions you may have and get you scheduled for a checkup so we can get to the root of the problem.