Eating garlic and a lax teeth-brushing routine aren't the only causes of bad breath. Here are 17 common causes of halitosis, and how to freshen up from each.
Having bad breath is kind of like getting toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your foot: usually harmless, but so awkward that nobody will tell you about it. At the microbial level, bad breath happens when the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths break down the food particles that are lingering in between our teeth, along our gum lines, and, especially, on our tongue. This process releases a bunch of stinky compounds and gives rise to the dreaded bad breath—or, as it's more formally called, halitosis.
The good news: It's is usually temporary. The bad news? It's often caused by a less-than-stellar brushing and flossing routine—as well as a bunch of other foods and habits too. Here are 17 reasons why your breath smells bad.