What Causes Bad Breath?

We emphasize a great importance in maintaining our appearance, such as periodically getting our hair cut, dressing in presentable clothing, and flossing our teeth. However, bad breath can throw all that meticulous care out the window. Sometimes the person may be unaware of the symptoms, while others cringe in terror once they catch a whiff of the acrid smell.

This symptom can be described as halitosis, which can either be a temporary issue or a continuous occurrence. Besides bad breath, there may be multiple underlying factors which may contribute to the problem. In order to determine if a visit to the dentist may resolve the issue, here are some possible causes that you could tackle on your own.

Dry Mouth

Medically known as xerostomia, the decreased amount of saliva can result in your mouth being dry and smelling. Saliva plays an important role in digestion and also removes food particles which would stay in the mouth. The lack of saliva production can be caused by breathing through your mouth and issues with the salivary gland.


Food with strong odors, such as garlic, onion, spices, cheese, fish and acidic beverages can contribute to bad breath. The best way to eliminate the issue is regularly and thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth, which removes tiny food particles trapped between your teeth. Ignoring the issue may result in bacteria growth which leads to bad breath.


Diabetes, lactose intolerance, gum diseases, respiratory tract infection and throat infections such as tonsillitis and pharyngitis, can lead to foul odor in your mouth. Some of the medications used to treat these illnesses may lead to bad breath, so it’s best to consult with your primary care physician if there are any alternative medications.

Smoking or Tobacco Use

Not only do these tobacco products cause bad breath, but they can lead to stained teeth, gum issues, and increasing your chances of tooth decay.

For more information about dental hygiene, contact our office at (770) 467-3888.


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