What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?

What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?

Posted by DR. LEE on Sep 12 2022, 07:33 AM

The easiest way to tell if you have a problem with bad breath is to ask a trusted friend or loved one. If you’re concerned about bad breath, avoid being self-conscious about the issue and reach out to your dentist for a professional opinion. Some patients find that simply changing their diet or stopping certain medications will reduce their bad breath.

Halitosis, or bad breath, is caused by a number of culprits. The most common ones are:

Poor Oral Hygiene

The number one cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, food particles will remain in your mouth, feeding the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Not cleaning your tongue is also a common cause of bad breath. The back of your tongue is full of little grooves that make it easy for bacteria to hide. Not removing that bacteria on a daily basis translates to bad breath throughout the day.

Gum Disease

The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. When food particles become trapped inside the gums, bacteria will multiply. This bacteria will emit odorous gases, which smell like bad breath. Scaling and root planing are deep cleaning treatments that can remove the plaque and tartar buildup that leads to gum disease.


When you eat certain foods, they can stay in your mouth for a while, allowing bacteria to multiply. The bacteria produce volatile sulfur compounds, and these chemicals are released when you exhale. The smell is often described as foul, sour, or rotten.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth is a condition that develops when the rate of saliva production is lower than normal. Saliva helps to destroy bacteria in the mouth, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

A dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, salivary gland issues, and breathing through the mouth. Some individuals may be at risk of developing dry mouth due to genetics.

Oral Infections

One of the most common causes of bad breath is an oral infection. In fact, several studies have revealed that about 80% of all bad breath cases are caused by oral infections.

These infections can be caused by several different types of bacteria. The most common type is halitosis-causing bacteria, which can be found in excess amounts in a person’s mouth.

These bacteria feed on the food particles that get stuck in a person’s teeth, gums, and tongue. Their presence leads to halitosis, which is persistent bad breath.

Systemic Diseases

Bad breath may be a sign of more serious conditions. For instance, diabetes can cause halitosis, while kidney and liver failure can also cause bad breath. In fact, halitosis may be a sign of kidney failure.

Other Causes

Bad breath can also be caused by medications, hormonal changes, diet, or digestive problems. Some common drugs that cause bad breath include diuretics, antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, and medications for Parkinson’s disease.

The dentists at Downtown Concord Dental can help you improve your smile. We are located at 2151 Salvio St Suite A-1, Concord, CA 94520. Contact us at (925) 566-8738 or visit our website to book an appointment with us. 

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.


Concord, CA

2151 Salvio St Suite A-1, Concord, CA 94520

Phone: (925) 566-8738