Failing to maintain a proper oral-healthcare routine can often lead to residue in the mouth and chronic bad breath. In most people who have bad breath or halitosis, the bad smell is caused by bacteria and debris in the mouth. As bacteria and debris become lodged in the mouth, the bacteria break down the debris, releasing smelly gases. This cause of bad breath is often a result of poor dental care.
Simply brushing your teeth in the morning may not remove food particles that become stuck between your teeth. Any particles left in your mouth can combine with saliva, begin to rot, and become infested with high bacteria populations. This accumulation of rotting debris can cause an unpleasant odor whenever you speak or breathe through your mouth. If this accumulation is not removed, it soon turns into a soft, whitish deposit called plaque on the surface of your teeth. Once plaque hardens, it becomes a calcified substance called calculus. Calculus is both difficult to remove and can cause mild to severe inflammation in the tissues surrounding your teeth.
The most effective way to prevent bad breath is to practice effective oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth, tongue, and gums twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste helps remove food debris and plaque. Flossing daily also removes any particles that accumulate between teeth. In addition, using an antibacterial mouthwash or rinse can reduce bacteria populations in the mouth and may temporarily freshen breath. Cleaning dentures or other dental fixtures regularly and properly is also essential for good oral hygiene and reduced odor.
Another important part of dental care is seeing your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and exams. Your dentist can identify infrequent or improper brushing and flossing and can help you design a more effective oral-hygiene routine. He or she may recommend that you adjust your diet and quit harmful habits like smoking that can cause bad breath.