5 Causes of Bad Breath

by | Nov 1, 2019 | General Dentistry

In social situations, whether at work or at play, we can often be self conscious of our appearance, our mannerisms, worried about the impression we are making on others. One such worry may be bad breath. This can have an affect on everything from work interactions to first dates.

Bad breath is such a crucial issue that there is a proper medical term for it: Halitosis. Even though it is a seemingly harmless condition, it cannot be overlooked. To deal with bad breath, it’s important to first know its causes. Here are 5 common causes of bad breath:

Eating Habits

One of the most common causes of bad breath is the food we eat. Foods like garlic, onion, and certain spices instantly come to our mind whenever a smelly mouth 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.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Failing to ensure proper oral hygiene can be one of the causes of bad breath as well. When a person doesn’t brush and floss, bacteria combine with the food particles in the mouth to produce plaque. This sticky, colorless biofilm coats the teeth, gums, and tongue and produces odors. No matter the time of day, this can cause bad breath, but prolonged periods of time where plaque may build up can make it more noticeable. Moreover, if you are wearing any dental prosthetic like dentures, you need to be extra careful of their hygiene as they too can be a cause of bad breath.

Dry Mouth or Xerostomia

Dry mouth or xerostomia is a condition in which the production of saliva in our mouth is reduced. This can be due to some diseases that affect the salivary glands, or due to other more common causes, such as a dry mouth in the morning. Since saliva helps cleanse the mouth, 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.


If you are eating well and maintaining proper oral hygiene but still experiencing bad breath, you should probably check the prescribed medicines that you are taking. Some medicines may have side effects which cause dry mouth. This may affect your breath and be a reoccuring cause of bad breath.

Other Health Conditions

One reason why you should not ignore bad breath is that it can be a noteworthy symptom of several diseases. 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 check ups can help you determine the specific cause and course of action most likely to kick your bad breath. Stop by our Bastrop or Pflugerville dentist, and let us help you achieve your oral health goals.