Dry Mouth Syndrome (xerostomia) -- A decrease in saliva production, known as dry mouth syndrome, can be caused by conditions such as anemia or diabetes. Taking over-the-counter medications and smoking cigarettes can also cause dry mouth; in turn, dry mouth can cause bad breath.
Cavities -- A dental cavity is the result of tooth decay, which is an oral disease. When your teeth have decayed, it's not uncommon for the decay to produce an odor -- bad breath.
Dental Abscess -- When a cavity is left untreated, a dental abscess can form around it. This pocket of pus contains bacteria that causes bad breath.
Gingivitis (or any form of gum disease) -- At its extreme, gingivitis can lead to tooth loss. But more often, it's one of the main causes of bleeding gums and bad breath.
Other causes of bad breath include undigested foods in the stomach and impacted teeth; the latter can trap food and debris in the areas where an impacted tooth is crowning(poking through the gums). The key to understanding what causes bad breath is remembering that if your mouth isn't clean or healthy, it's probably going to make your breath smell bad.
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath
Now that you know what causes bad breath, it's time to go over what you're probably most interested in: how to get rid of bad breath. The first thing to be aware of is that many of the so-called bad breath remedies like breath mints, gums or strips, offer only temporary help. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily and using mouthwash at bedtime is your ticket to a life free of bad breath (also known as halitosis). Proper oral hygiene habits can't be stressed enough! Some even say that brushing after consuming sugar-rich foods -- including pasta, bread, potatoes and milk -- is a good idea.
If you've been searching for a magical solution on how to get rid of bad breath, now you know that the formula is simple: practice good oral hygiene and go for regular dental visits. A dentist can also offer more expert advice and tips to suit your lifestyle, so be sure to ask.