Causes of Bad Breath

Posted by DR. AMI DESAI on Jul 19 2022, 04:40 AM

Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. It’s caused by odor-producing bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria multiply and produce foul-smelling gases, which release when you breathe.

Although many people view halitosis as a trivial condition, persistent bad breath can be a sign of a serious underlying oral health issue. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth every day can keep halitosis at bay. But if you’re still experiencing bad breath, make an appointment with our office. Our dentists can closely examine your mouth and work with you to determine the cause of your bad breath, then provide a treatment plan that will have you smiling again in no time.

Here are some most common causes of bad breath:

Tobacco Products

Tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, all contain chemicals that contribute to the breakdown of gum tissue. They also cause gum recession and tooth decay. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

Tobacco products also contain dangerous toxins that can enter your bloodstream and travel to major organs, including your lungs, heart, and brain. This can contribute to stroke, heart disease, and cancer.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Failing to brush and floss your teeth daily can lead to halitosis. Food particles and bacteria can become trapped between the teeth and along the gum line, causing bad odors. Brushing and flossing remove the trapped bacteria and particles, helping to eliminate bad breath.


Sticky, sugary foods are a major contributor to bad breath. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the food particles that remain after eating. The bacteria produce sulfur compounds, which are what cause bad breath.

Even brushing and flossing after a meal does not completely clean your mouth. The bacteria can be trapped between your teeth and beneath your gums, where toothbrush bristles cannot reach.

Certain Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can cause bad breath. Diabetes, liver disease, and other organ or system diseases can cause bad breath from the chemicals the body creates as it struggles to fight off infection.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a prevalent issue that can affect anyone. When you don’t visit the dentist often enough, plaque and bacteria can build up and cause an infection. This infection can cause bad breath and other oral issues.

Gum disease can be treatable but will require a visit to the dentist. You may be able to prevent gum disease with frequent brushing and flossing. If you experience symptoms of gum disease, such as bad breath, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can be the result of many causes. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, autoimmune diseases, or salivary gland damage. Dry mouth can also be caused by not drinking enough water. When saliva is unable to wash away food particles, bacteria can accumulate and cause bad breath.

Dry mouth can be a temporary condition or a serious medical condition. If you suffer from dry mouth, we recommend speaking to your dentist.

Oral Piercings

When piercings are done correctly, they are a safe method of getting a new piece of jewelry. Unfortunately, many piercings are done poorly, which can result in a number of health issues.

While the mouth is resistant to bacteria, it can cause gum recession. This occurs when the gum tissues pull away from the teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria thrive in these pockets, which results in bad breath.

If you have any questions about the causes of bad breath, Ami Desai, D.D.S., is here to help. For scheduling your appointments, please call (408) 946-0777 or visit our office at 440 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035. For more information, please contact us at 

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Ami Desai, D.D.S.

440 E Calaveras Blvd

Milpitas, CA 95035

Phone : (408) 946-0777

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