Why You Have Bad Breath Even After Brushing Your Teeth

Why You Have Bad Breath Even After Brushing Your Teeth

Are you tired of facing the frustration of bad breath even after brushing your teeth? One of the most questions we saw during our research was ‘why does my breath smell bad even after brushing?’

This post will cover the main causes of bad breath, but also talk about a secret weapon which has scientifically shown to have solid results in combating bad breath right at the root – no amount of brushing can help if the cause is related to an imbalance of bacteria in the mouth. 

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be embarrassing and tough to deal with. But you’re not alone – bad breath is more common than you might think.

Did you know that 1 in 4 people suffer from bad breath?

In fact, studies show that around 80 to 85 percent of cases of bad breath originate right in the mouth. But what about the other 15 to 20 percent? Sometimes, factors outside of our mouths can play a role too.

In this article, we’re diving deep into the world of bad breath to uncover its potential causes, even after you’ve brushed your teeth, and explore various treatment options to help you reclaim that fresh breath confidence. So, if you’re tired of feeling self-conscious about your breath, stick around – we’ve got you covered!

 1. Oral Hygiene Oversights

Starting with the obvious. In most cases, bad breath is simply the result of not brushing and flossing regularly. And yes – we highly recommend flossing daily. It really does help remove the stubborn bits of food between the teeth and gums where brushing can’t get to.

Simply going through the motions may not be enough to banish bad breath. Proper technique is key to effectively removing plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums.

Ensure that you are brushing for a full two minutes, covering all surfaces of the teeth and paying special attention to the gumline. We’d always recommend an electric toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. Always floss first before brushing.

2. Periodontal and Gum Disease

Periodontal and gum disease is a common cause of persistent bad breath.

Do your teeth bleed when brushing? If so, this – together with red, puffy gums –  are a big sign of gum disease (gingivitis).

When plaque and tartar accumulate along the gumline, bacteria thrive, leading to inflammation and infection.

This bacterial build-up can produce foul-smelling gases that contribute to halitosis.

Your dentist can assess the health of your gums and recommend appropriate treatments, such as referring you to a hygienist for a deep clean or scale and polish, to remove tartar (the yellowish hard substance around the bottom of the teeth) and gums. 

Plaque and Tartar
Plaque and Tartar

Not cleaning the Tongue

We cannot stress this one enough.

The surface of the tongue is not smooth, but actually  bumpy. This is an issue because it’s the perfect habitat for bacteria to lodge themselves into.

The tongue can harbour a significant amount of odor-causing bacteria, especially towards the back of the tongue.

Even after brushing, bacteria may remain lodged in the tiny grooves and crevices of the tongue’s surface, contributing to bad breath.

Brushing your teeth and rinsing, even with mouthwash, is nowhere near sufficient enough to remove the layer on the tongue.

To effectively clean the tongue and improve breath freshness, introduce a tongue scraper into your oral hygiene routine. This is an essential tool to add to really help remove bacteria and debris from the surface of the tongue.

We’d recommend a horse shoe scraper like this one from Amazon.

Not Cleaning Tongue

Untreated Cavities

Untreated cavities can also contribute to bad breath by providing a breeding ground for bacteria.

When food particles become trapped in the crevices of a cavity, bacteria feed on these particles and produce foul-smelling gases as a by product. To prevent cavities and maintain fresh breath, be sure to attend regular dental check-ups and address any cavities promptly.

Your dentist can detect cavities early on and recommend appropriate treatments, such as dental fillings, to restore the health of your teeth and gums.

Untreated Cavities
Untreated Cavities

Dehydration and Dry Mouth

Are you drinking enough water? Dehydration is a common culprit behind morning breath and daytime halitosis.

When the body is not adequately hydrated, saliva production decreases, leading to a dry mouth. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health and overall well-being, and keeps the mouth moist, preventing dryness and discomfort. A dry mouth can increase the risk of dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Saliva also protects the teeth by neutralising acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.

This dry environment creates an ideal breeding ground for odour-causing bacteria. To combat dehydration and maintain optimal saliva flow, aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Limit your intake of tea and coffee, as they can contribute to dehydration. Sipping water regularly can help flush out bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

Try changing your diet

Garlic, onions, spicy foods, and alcohol consumption are notorious for leaving a lingering odour in the mouth long after a meal. A study from 2016 showed ‘Garlic causes a strong garlic breath that may persist for almost a day.’

They contain volatile compounds that can be absorbed into the bloodstream and released through the breath.

Even after brushing, these odours may persist. 

Try chewing on fresh parsley after eating these types of food, as it’s been shown freshen your breath naturally.

The same study also found how eating apple, lettuce, mint leaves, or green tea immediately after eating garlic neutralised the effects of garlic. Definitely worth keeping these handy!

Green Tea and Mint Leaves

Bad Breath from the Stomach or Throat

While most cases of bad breath originate from oral hygiene issues or bacterial build-up in the mouth, sometimes the source of the smell can be traced back to the stomach, or the throat.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD), commonly known as acid reflux, is a condition where stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus, often causing heartburn and even halitosis.

Chronic sinus infections or inflamed tonsils can also be a factor. Tonsil stones for example, are small, calcified masses that form in the crevices of the tonsils.

These stones are often composed of food particles, bacteria, and dead cells that become trapped in the tonsils and harden over time. As the tonsil stones grow, they can release foul-smelling sulphur compounds.

If you’ve ruled out oral hygiene issues and lifestyle factors as potential causes of halitosis, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for further evaluation.

Addressing the root cause of the halitosis is key.

Why does my breath smell bad even after brushing: The cure

what causes bad breath even after brushing

So you’ve read the list above, and despite doing the common suggestions, your breath still smells.

Introducing probiotics.

We’ve written a whole article on probiotics, and how they are a secret weapon against halitosis.

Dental probiotics offer a scientifically proven solution for restoring the balance of bacteria in the mouth and combating bad breath at its source.

Check out this article here to learn more – the research and reviews we’ve had are phenomenal.

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