Bad breath is also called halitosis. Bad breath can be cause by poor oral hygiene habits or can be a sign of other health issues. Certain foods (such as garlic or onions) and other unhealthy lifestyle habits can also cause bad breath (such as smoking and chewing tobacco).
Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day and floss daily to remove food particles and bacteria. Food and bacteria promotes bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be warning signs of gum (periodontal) disease. Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental caries (cavities). See your dentist twice a year and drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist.
The medical condition dry mouth (also called xerostomia) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten and cleanse the mouth by neutralizing acids produced by plaque and washing away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be caused by the side effects of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.
Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Here are some to be aware of: respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.