Bad breath, also known as halitosis, affects millions of people around the world every day. If you suffer from it, you know it's one of the more embarrassing health issues out there. But fear not, there are plenty of natural ways you can avoid the build-up of bacteria that leads to halitosis.

While you may not even realise you have a problem, others may have noticed. Here, you can easily find out what causes bad breath and what you can do to prevent it, fast!

Main causes of severe bad breath

Halitosis most often occurs first thing in the morning because the bacteria in your mouth has been sitting overnight, feeding on any remaining food particles. Breathing through the mouth while you're sleeping also worsens this condition as dry mouth prohibits the production of saliva, crucial for the mouth's cleansing process. This allows the bacteria to flourish, making your morning breath even worse! 

Poor dental hygiene, certain foods, sickness, or even genetics in some cases can be the main cause of the development of bad breath. Substances like tobacco or even certain medications can cause halitosis too.

According to an article in Scientific American, “Recent evidence suggests that the effective strategy for beating back bad breath might be more about nurturing bacteria in the mouth than just about destroying offending germs and their by-products.” It's when these bacteria, which reside on the gums, teeth, and the tongue, feast upon the food particles left in your mouth after eating that the problem occurs, because the bacteria produces gasses that create the noxious odours in your mouth.

The bacteria in your mouth live in one of two areas, on the tongue or within the gums. When you fail to properly brush and floss, halitosis can occur. Heavy plaque buildup and gum disease also promote the production of bad odour in the mouth, so make sure to get your teeth checked by a dentist every six months.

Garlic and onions cause bad breath

What foods cause bad breath?

Brushing and flossing regularly helps to reduce the occurrence of halitosis, but the types of foods you eat also have an effect. Some of the worst food and drink offenders that can lead to bad breath are:

1. Garlic and onions

2. Spicy foods

3. Tuna and fish

4. Milk and cheese

5. Horseradish

6. Coffee: The reason coffee can cause bad breath is the coffee beans can dry out the saliva in your mouth, and low salvia is one of the causes of bad breath. Remember, when drinking hot coffee it can also burn your mouth.

7. Alcohol

The best tongue scraper for bad breath

How to get rid of bad breath right now

Treating bad breath means avoiding the build-up of bacteria in the mouth. The easiest ways to beat bad breath naturally are to make sure you brush your teeth in the morning and before bed, as well as to floss at least once a day. This helps remove any food particles that remain in the mouth after eating. Using mouthwash can also attack any remains that are stuck and give your mouth a burst of freshness. Here are other easy ways you can stop the build-up of bad breath:

1. Scrape your tongue regularly to remove bacteria – buying a tongue scraper like the Orabrush Tongue Cleaner Fresh Breath Brush is an easy and practical way to start this healthy habit.

2. Brush the roof of your mouth daily to reduce bacteria

3. Stop smoking – tobacco damages your gums and promotes halitosis

4. Switch to sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production and remove food particles

5. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist and remove additional bits that are stuck between your teeth.

If the halitosis persists, consider seeking the advice of a physician as your problem might stem from a more serious cause.

By watching what you eat, taking good care of your teeth and gums, and visiting a doctor or dentist when you experience any problems, you can ensure that your mouth will be in tip-top shape. A healthy mouth and fresh breath also improve your mood... not to mention others around you!

READ NEXT: Tried and tested remedies and products to help you get rid of bad breath.

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How to get rid of bad breath

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