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Stress can cause halitosisBad breath can be caused by many factors such as eating pungent foods, periodontal disease, sinus infections, smoking and even chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Bad breath is caused when there is an excess of bad bacteria in the mouth. But for some, even though they brush and floss regularly, change their bad habits and keep a good oral hygiene routine, they still continue to experience bad breath. This may be caused by stress.

How does stress cause Halitosis?
When you have high stress levels your body reacts by kicking on the sympathetic nervous system. This is the system that triggers your fight or flight mechanism so that you can react more quickly in a situation. This survival function makes it possible for humanity to live through the most dangerous situations and circumstances. Unfortunately it also causes the mouth to produce less saliva, and saliva is essential for moistening the food we eat so it will be easier to digest. However during critical situations our bodies don’t seem to think it is necessary to produce saliva. Your saliva evaporates making the mouth dry, which in turn causes bad breath. This happens because the saliva that usually suppresses the odorous gasses created by bacteria in the mouth is dried up and the gasses cannot be swallowed away. Bacteria sticks better to the surfaces of a dry mouth, and this leads to a more potent sour smell.

Are there any quick fixes?
It is good to drink plenty of water throughout the day because your mouth will be kept moist. Chewing on sugar-free gum will stimulate the production of saliva. It will be best not to use mouth wash that contains alcohol, as the alcohol can dehydrate your mouth further. Although these techniques will help you find relief from a smelly mouth, it will be more beneficial to find the root of the problem, and by visiting your dentist they can determine what is causing your bad breath and will give you treatment for your specific needs.

How do I cut out stress?
If your bad breath is caused by stress and anxiety, then there are a few stress reduction techniques you can try out. One of the most popular and clinically proven techniques used to reduce stress and anxiety is meditation. Meditation not only clears the mind and reduces tension and stress, it also relaxes the body. Exercise is another way to get rid of those anxiety attacks, as it stimulates endorphins which are the feel good hormones. Deep breathing exercises have also been proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Talking to a mental health professional, or even a close friend about what you are going through will also help tremendously. If after all this you are still having trouble calming your nerves, go see your doctor about anti-anxiety medications.