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One in every four Americans deals with halitosis, or chronic bad breath. If you are constantly popping wintergreen mints or spearmint gum to freshen your breath, it could be a sign that you are part of that 25 percent.

There are ways to prevent this bad breath, and we have compiled list of the most common causes for bad breath:

1. Improper dental hygiene Not brushing and flossing your teeth after meals causes little food particles to be left in the teeth. As they decay throughout the day, they cause bad breath.

2. Gum disease – Gum disease can develop from improper dental hygiene, and is a main contributor to breath freshness. When food is left in the teeth, it can start to infect the gums, leaving residue and spreading bacteria throughout the mouth.

3. Eating certain foods  – We can all think of those few foods that do not keep your breath at its peak of freshness. Onions, garlic, cheese, soda, and orange juice are some of the main culprits.

4. Dry mouth – Saliva naturally cleans your mouth, so when it is dry and not producing a normal amount of saliva, the dead cells can build up, causing morning breath.

5. Malnutrition – Starvation and/or intense dieting can often result in bad breath because of the chemicals that break down during fasting.

No matter the cause for your bad breath, you can prevent this problem by being careful what you eat, making frequent trips to the dentist, and sucking on gum or hard candies to produce more saliva, contributing to fresher breath.