What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?

What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?

Feb 01, 2023

Bad breath usually occurs due to poor oral hygiene, or it can result from several health conditions, such as heartburn or dry mouth. Another word for bad breath is halitosis.

Halitosis can be a sign of underlying health issues; therefore, if the odor is persistent, you must get checked by our dentist in Philadelphia, PA. In addition, sometimes, how your breath smells can point out the underlying issue. For example, if the breath smells rotten, it may indicate an abscess or infection; if it smells sweet, it may be a sign of diabetes.

What is Bad Breath?

We’ve all had bad breath at one point, especially after eating strong foods such as onions or garlic. Bad breath that persists can be a sign of an oral health condition or problem affecting another area of the body.

Halitosis is a symptom of several conditions. Therefore, the first step in treating the issue is finding the root cause of bad breath.

Now let’s look at the causes of halitosis.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Here are four reasons why you may have bad breath:

  • Dry mouth

A dry mouth is a medical condition that decreases saliva production. It usually occurs due to factors such as medications, tobacco, cancer therapy, and the use of alcohol. Saliva cleans the mouth by clearing away particles that can cause bad odors.

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  • Poor oral hygiene

Failing to brush and floss daily allows food particles to accumulate in the mouth, leading to bad breath. In addition, plaque forms on the teeth, and if it’s not cleared away, it irritates the gums and forms plaque-filled pockets between the gums and teeth.

If you don’t brush the tongue properly, it can trap bacteria that cause odors. Likewise, dentures that don’t fit properly or aren’t cleaned regularly can harbor food particles and bacteria that cause odor.


  • Food

The breakdown of food begins in the mouth; during that process, some particles can get trapped in the teeth, causing odors. When foods are absorbed into the bloodstream, they go to the lungs, affecting the air you breathe out. For example, brushing and flossing can’t help eliminate the odor of eating onions and garlic.

The odor clears away when the foods pass through your body. However, foods such as cheese, soda, pastrami, alcohol, and certain spices can also cause bad breath.


  • Mouse, throat, and nose conditions

Sometimes small stones full of bacteria can form on the tonsils producing a bad odor. In addition, inflammation or infections in the throat, sinuses, or nose can cause halitosis.

Is Bad Breath Permanent?

Bad breath can be temporary and sometimes seem to last forever. For example, in the morning, after taking your cup of coffee, you can have bad breath, but it goes away after brushing your teeth.

Halitosis isn’t permanent. If the bad odor doesn’t disappear, you should seek bad breath treatment in Philadelphia.

What is The Best Treatment for Bad Breath?

Here are ways that can help eliminate bad breath:

  • Brush and floss often.

Plaque buildup on the teeth accumulates bacteria that cause bad breath. Brush your teeth with toothpaste every morning and night, and floss once daily. It helps to prevent bad breath and decay.

The coating that forms on the tongue can harbor smelly bacteria. So, it would help if you brush your tongue. You can use a scraper if the toothbrush cannot reach the back of the tongue.

  • Use mouthwash

Mouthwash not only freshens your breath but also helps to clear away bacteria. The perfect time to use it is before going to sleep. Make sure the mouthwash you select kills germs that cause bad breath.

  • Water

Sometimes bad breath can be a result of mouth dryness. Saliva helps to keep the mouth clean, and when it’s insufficient, bacteria thrive.

When you are asleep, your mouth dries out at night, giving you bad breath in the morning.

Keeping the body hydrated helps to prevent dry mouth. Try to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water every day.

  • Cleaning

A dentist or periodontist treats the condition if the bad odor is due to underlying gum disease. For example, a periodontal cleaning helps to rid tartar or plaque and bacteria that have accumulated and have resulted in inflammation of the gumline.

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