What Are The Causes of Bad Breath?

Woman covering her mouth with hand because of bad breath, with text - Alameda, CABad breath, otherwise known as halitosis can be an embarrassing problem. If you discover that your mouth is not as fresh as you would like then likely you will want to find out what is causing bad breath. Let’s look at the most common reasons for bad breath.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath (or halitosis) can develop for many reasons. 


The most common cause for bad breath is the food we eat. Foods that are stronger in flavor like garlic and coffee can linger for longer, leaving bad odors. Brushing your teeth, chewing sugar-free gum, or using a mouthwash will usually reduce these odors. 


Tobacco products such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco are other common causes of bad breath. They are also a danger to your oral health and one of the most significant risks in the development of oral cancers. Quitting tobacco, therefore, will greatly improve your oral health.

Oral Health Issues

Gum disease and cavities are also known to cause bad breath. Crowded teeth or braces that haven’t been fitted properly will also create conditions for odors to develop. Talk to your dentist about solutions if you feel these are issues affecting your breath.


Odor-causing bacteria in the mouth can also cause bad breath. Food particles inside your mouth will cause bacteria to multiply.

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests brushing your teeth twice a day, floss at least once, and visit the dentist every 6 months.

This will keep your mouth clean and reduce the amount of odor-causing bacteria.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth happens for several reasons. Smoking, medications, health problems, or even how you breathe can be to blame. If you eliminate the cause of dry mouth, odors will reduce.


Respiratory diseases such as flu can cause bad breath. Diabetes may also cause bad breath. Medications used to treat some illnesses are also known to cause dry mouth making bad breath worse.

If you feel that your medication is causing bad breath, then speak to your doctor.

It may be possible to switch your medications.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

Identifying the cause of bad breath can help you to tackle the problem.

Be honest about your habits and lifestyle.

Your doctor and dentist will be able to advise you too. Usually, taking care of basic oral hygiene practices and avoiding tobacco products will help resolve the problem. So be sure to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist every 6 months.  Your oral hygiene will improve as you reduce the bacteria in your mouth.

A Further Warning for Tobacco Users

If you use tobacco products such as smoking, then you are at risk of developing oral cancer. Regularly check for abnormalities in the tissue in or around your mouth. If you notice something then don’t hesitate to book yourself an appointment with the surgeons at California Oral and Facial Surgery. They offer many services related to oral health. You can find them in Alameda, CA.

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