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Reasons for Bad Breath

Reasons for Bad Breath

Bad breath, medically referred to as halitosis, is a condition that occurs when bacteria in the mouth are not properly removed. Volatile sulfur compounds are produced by the bacteria that are found in plaque and on the tongue. These compounds give bad breath its characteristic odor.

Bad breath can be embarrassing and can affect your confidence. Fortunately, halitosis can be easily treated. By brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily, you can prevent bad breath. If you suffer from chronic bad breath, see your dentist.

How Is Bad Breath Diagnosed?

When patients come in for an appointment with a dentist, their dentist will usually ask them about the symptoms they are experiencing. If they are experiencing bad breath, their dentist will ask them if they notice anything different about their mouth. This could include their gums, teeth, tongue, or breath.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you don’t practice proper oral hygiene, bacteria can build up in your mouth. These bacteria feed off of food particles that remain in your mouth after eating. The waste products produced by these bacteria are what cause you to have bad breath.

Lack of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a vitamin that is necessary for gum health. It is also good for your skin. If you don’t get enough vitamin C, your gums can become inflamed. Inflammatory diseases such as gum disease can cause bad breath.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth is caused when your body doesn’t produce enough saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. Without enough saliva, these acids can build up and make you more susceptible to tooth decay and bad breath.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is the most common reason for halitosis. It is a chronic bacterial infection that attacks the gums. At first, it may seem like a minor problem, but if left untreated, it can lead to bone degeneration and tooth loss. 


Bad congestion can cause foul breath. It can also keep you from breathing through your nose, causing a dry mouth. Then, the bacteria in your mouth increases and causes bad breath.

Before visiting your dentist, try a salt water rinse to clear your sinuses. Then, drink plenty of water or chew gum to keep your mouth moist and saliva flowing.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco often causes bad breath. In addition to causing bad breath, tobacco products cause serious health problems such as lung cancer and heart disease.


Certain foods can cause bad breath. Processed foods, foods with garlic, onions, or spices, or foods with sugar are just some of the examples of foods that can contribute to bad breath. 

Medication-induced Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications. While this is a common issue, it should still be addressed when it occurs. Without enough saliva, food particles and bacteria tend to remain in the mouth. This can lead to bad breath. Your dentist can prescribe a fluoride rinse that can help treat the issue.

Gastric Reflux

Gastric reflux is a primary cause of bad breath. When gastric acid is regurgitated back into the mouth, it irritates the tissues and can cause bad breath. Over time, the irritation and damage can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

If you are interested in learning more about our treatments, visit our Bradshaw + Katras Orthodontic Specialists offices in Tennessee.


189 corporate Drive Suite 30, Johnson City, TN 37604

Phone : (423) 929-1126

407 Hudson Dr, Elizabethton, TN 37643

Phone : (423) 543-1123

128 Serral Drive, Greeneville, TN 37745

Phone : (423) 638-3132

Email : smiles@bracesbhb.com