Common Causes of Bad Breath

When out and about, we often find ourselves self-conscious of our appearance, our mannerisms and our interactions with others whether at work or at play. One worry that can have an effect on everything from interacting at work, to a first date and even to kissing your spouse, is bad breath.

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Bad breath even has its own medical term - Halitosis. Many people consider bad breath a harmless condition, but it cannot be overlooked. Knowing what can cause halitosis can help a person deal with it. Following are the main causes of bad breath:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Not practicing good oral hygiene can be one of the causes of bad breath as well. When we don’t brush and floss, food particles in the mouth combine with bacteria to produce plaque. This sticky, colorless film coats the tongue, gums, and teeth and produces odors. Prolonged periods of time where plaque may build up can make bad breath very noticeable. Be extra careful if you are wearing any dental prosthetic like dentures, as they too can be a cause of bad breath if not properly cared for.


If you are maintaining proper oral hygiene and eating healthy foods but still experiencing bad breath, you should probably check any prescription drugs that you are taking. Some medicines may have side effects which cause dry mouth. This may affect your breath and be a reoccurring cause of bad breath.

Eating Habits

Some foods we eat like onion and garlic instantly come to mind whenever bad breath is mentioned. This is because of the way such foods affect the air you exhale from your lungs. Once digested, they enter your blood which takes them to your lungs. Some food items might not be foul-smelling themselves. But, when they breakdown in your mouth or get stuck between your teeth, the bacteria present in your oral cavity causes bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth or xerostomia is a condition in which there is a reduced production of saliva in our mouth. This can be due to some medications or diseases that affect the salivary glands, or due to more common causes, such as a dry mouth in the morning. Saliva helps cleanse the mouth, therefore, less saliva would result in bad breath. Morning breath is a natural example of dry mouth affecting your breath. People who sleep with their mouths open might have stronger morning breath.

Other Health Conditions

Bad breath can be a symptom of several diseases, which is why it should not be ignored. Wounds, lesions, mouth sores, and infected regions in your mouth can be one of the causes of bad breath. It’s best to get them checked and treated. Sinus or throat issues may also make your mouth smelly due to postnasal drip. Some serious diseases like cancer, GERD, and certain metabolic diseases produce specific chemicals which can cause bad breath as well.

Regular dental checkups can help you determine the specific cause and course of action most likely to kick your bad breath. Stop by our office, and let Dr. Adrian Guerra help you achieve your oral health goals.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Guerra, feel free to contact our office at 561-844-6146. We’re here to help!

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