Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth. When a person doesn’t brush and floss regularly, bacteria accumulate on the bits of food left in the mouth and between the teeth. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria make your breath smell.
Certain foods, especially garlic and onions that contain pungent oils, can contribute to bad breath because the oils are carried to your lungs and out through your mouth. Smoking also causes bad breath.
If you brush and floss properly and visit your dentist for regular cleanings, but your bad breath persists, you may have a medical problem like sinusitis or gum disease.
Teeth: Bad Breath Myths
Mouthwash will make bad breath go away.
Mouthwash only gets rid of bad breath temporarily.
As long as you brush your teeth, you shouldn't have bad breath.
To sufficiently clean all the surfaces of your teeth, a person should brush for at least 2 minutes and at least twice a day. Brushing the tongue is important too because the bacteria loves to hang out there. Also, flossing helps remove harmful plaque and food particles that become stuck between the teeth and gums.
If you breathe into your hand, you'll know when you have bad breath.
When you breathe, you don't use your throat the same way you do when you talk. When you talk, you tend to bring out the odors from the back of your mouth where bad breath originates.