If you're cozying up for a kiss, you'll want to avoid bad breath. Easier said than done? Not if you understand what causes it. The sweetness of your breath is affected by your diet, your brushing and flossing routine, tobacco use and your health status. Strong foods such as onions and garlic are digested and carried through the bloodstream to the lungs; their scents are noticed when you exhale. In addition, if you don't floss and brush regularly, food stays in your mouth, decomposing and harboring bacteria.
Certain medical conditions can also cause bad breath. Saliva helps wash food and bacteria away, but dry mouth (a result of aging, medication, mouth breathing or salivary problems) prevents the removal of odor-causing particles. Halitosis can also be an indicator of health problems, such as postnasal drip, bronchitis, sinusitis, diabetes, as well as liver, kidney or gastrointestinal abnormalities.