Bad breath can often be the result of some habits and lifestyle choices. Amongst these, few rank higher than tobacco use. Having a high-sugar diet is another. The natural bacteria in the mouth will feast on the excess sugars and redecorate the teeth and gums with bacteria build-up known as plaque. Carbohydrate-cutting diets can also double your chances of bad breath as your body increases its production of ammonia to try and metabolize food. Regular fasting or skipping meals is another cause. Finally, people who are over-stressed can wind up having unpleasant breath.
Yes, persistent bad breath may also be a by-product of some medical conditions. Common ailments like acid reflux and heartburn could leave a bad taste in your mouth. In other cases, bacteria and mucus build-up from a sinus infection could be what's causing the issue. Slightly fruity breath that isn't wholly pleasant or offensive is a tell-tale sign of diabetes, while a strong, ammonia cent has been likened to kidney disease. Dental diseases like gingivitis can also cause bad breath because of the presence of excess bacteria in the mouth.
Having a dry mouth (often resulting regular breathing through the mouth), causes a decrease in saliva, leaves your mouth unable to naturally flush bacteria and food particles from your teeth and gums before they break down and start to decay. This is another major culprit of bad breath.
Chewing sugar-free gum can be a great way to get those saliva glands going. Not only will it help to flush out bacteria, saliva also helps to wash unwanted food particles away before they can break down in your mouth. Gums, candies and mints that are loaded with sugar, however, will not be a great help. They may mask the odour for a while, but they'll do little to actually kill the bacteria that are causing your breath to smell, as they add more sugar to the mouth, which increases plaque build-up. More plaque equals even more bad breath.
Your best bet is to brush, floss and rinse with a mouthwash twice daily. This will ensure your mouth is optimally clean. If you are worried your bad breath might be a sign of a bigger issue, or if you are just unable to tame it yourself by brushing, flossing and rinsing, talk to your dentist.