General Dentistry |2 min read

What is the Cause of Bad Breath

Bad breath is a concern of many patients. It is also called halitosis. The cause of bad breath can be any of the following:

DIET: The most common cause of bad breath is food. The scent of strong smelling foods like onions and garlic is absorbed into our blood and released over the next 1-3 days though our lungs and skin. 

GUM INFECTION: A chronic gum infection, known as periodontal disease, can also lead to bad breath. Treating active periodontal disease will eliminate or reduce bad breath from this source.

ACID REFLUX: Not only can acid reflux cause bad breath, but it may cause more serious medical and dental problems. This condition should be checked out by your physician or dentist.

SMOKING AND TOBACCO can add to bad breath. Tobacco irritates gum tissue.

DRY MOUTH: This occurs when the flow of saliva decreases which can be from various medications, salivary gland problems or continually breathing through the mouth. Don’t hesitate to speak to your dentist about this problem. I am happy to offer assistance at any time if you email me at 

MEDICAL CONDITIONS: There are several medical conditions which can create bad breath including sinus infections, bronchitis, diabetes and some liver and kidney diseases.

The best way to figure out the cause and best treatment of your bad breath is to see a dentist. I am happy to offer free consultations in my office for any dental concern. Though some patients find this subject uncomfortable, I am sure I can discuss this with you in a way which makes you feel comfortable. I can help you solve the problem of bad breath and alert you to any underlying medical or dental problems that may be at the root of the problem.

Note that mouthwash will only mask the odor temporarily. Mouthwashes are generally cosmetic and do not have a long lasting effect on bad breath. If you are using mouthwash regularly to hide unpleasant mouth odor, see your dentist.

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