What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?

Posted by Greenwell Springs Family Dentistry Oct 19, 2022

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Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an unpleasant odor that comes from the mouth. Bad breath can be a sign of an underlying dental problem. The causes include:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Having poor oral hygiene is a great way to get bad breath. Bacteria build up on the tongue, gums, and teeth, causing an unpleasant odor that no one will want to encounter. Brushing and flossing help remove plaque and food particles that bacteria feed on. If not removed promptly, the bacteria multiply and create unpleasant smells associated with bad breath.

If you suffer from gum disease and have an infection in your mouth, you will most likely have chronic bad breath. If plaque is not brushed away daily, it hardens and turns into tartar. When left on the teeth, it can cause gum irritation and even contribute to tooth loss. Unfortunately, once you get periodontal disease, it can be hard to treat and control on your own. That’s why it’s important to visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist will clean your teeth thoroughly and check your gums for any signs of infection or disease.

Periodontal Disease

Gum disease is one of the leading causes of bad breath, as well as tooth decay. When gum disease is present, the gums pull away from the teeth and create pockets where bacteria can colonize and thrive. This can lead to tooth loss and other oral health concerns. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits to prevent periodontal disease. Brushing your teeth after meals, flossing daily, rinsing with mouthwash, and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups are all great ways to promote a healthy smile and prevent bad breath.


Certain foods are known to contribute to bad breath. Foods that are high in sugar can be the root cause of bacteria in your mouth, and the bacteria can produce a foul odor as a result. Garlic is another example of a food that can cause bad odors. Any foods that cause strong smells should be avoided altogether by patients with halitosis. Some patients may develop other health issues as a result of these foods as well. For example, garlic can also be bad for your heart, so patients who consume a lot of it may experience more heart-related problems if they have existing health conditions. It is important to speak with your dentist about any concerns related to your health and diet. Your dentist will be able to provide valuable advice about how you can maximize your diet and your health. 

Tobacco Usage

Tobacco is the most common cause of bad breath. This is partly because tobacco contains chemicals that dry out the mouth and also because the habit tends to cause a person to not brush and floss as often as they should. Not only does tobacco use lead to foul-smelling breath, but it can also contribute to mouth cancer, gum disease, and other serious oral health issues. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid smoking or using tobacco products altogether. Instead, talk to your dentist about ways to kick the habit.

It is also helpful to avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible, as this can be another source of unpleasant odor. If you have a problem with a loved one’s tobacco use, talk to them about it in a loving manner. Remind them of the dangers of tobacco use and the effects on their smile. In some cases, you may want to seek professional help from a counselor or psychologist to help your loved one quit. Whatever approach you take, keep trying until you find what works for the person you’re caring for.

At Greenwell Springs Family Dentistry, we offer high-quality dental care using state-of-the-art dental technologies. To learn more about our dental services, call Dentist in Greenwell Springs, LA, at (225) 261-0043 or visit our dental office located at 14127 Greenwell Springs Road, Greenwell Springs.

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