Causes of Bad Breath

Causes of Bad Breath

Posted by Justin Le DDS on Sep 1 2022, 06:48 AM

Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. It can be caused by a variety of factors. The most common cause is food particles. Particles of food can become trapped between your teeth and under your gums. When you eat, bacteria feast on the food particles and release foul odors. 

Bad breath can be caused by a number of things, such as:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Without proper brushing and flossing, food particles, bacteria, and plaque buildup in the mouth can lead not only to bad breath but also to serious dental and health issues.

Food Habits

There are several foods that cause bad breath. These foods include onions, garlic, peppers, and coffee. While these foods may not be good for your overall health, they can also cause bad breath.

Eating these foods can cause bad breath because these foods have strong odors. These strong odors enter the bloodstream. When they reach the bloodstream, they get carried through the body via the bloodstream. This can cause bad breath.

Gum Disease

Gum disease (or periodontal disease) is the most common cause of bad breath. The condition causes gum inflammation, which triggers the production of bacteria and can make the mouth smell.

Dry Mouth

Saliva helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Without it, bacteria accumulate and start to decay the teeth. As a result, people with dry mouth sometimes experience bad breath.

Oral Infections

Oral infections like cold sores, strep, and tonsillitis can cause bad breath. These oral infections usually occur in the upper respiratory tract, but they can affect the mouth as well.


Smoking is one of the more common causes of bad breath. If you smoke, you aren’t just exposing your teeth to staining and discoloration; you are also increasing your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Certain Medications

Halitosis, or bad breath, may be caused by certain conditions. Your dentist can determine whether the medications you take may be causing your bad breath. For example, antihistamines or decongestants can cause dry mouth, which creates an optimal environment for the growth of odor-causing bacteria.


Diabetes is a very serious problem that can lead to a lot of complications, including gum disease. Diabetes can make it harder for your body to fight infection, which puts you at a higher risk for gum disease. Additionally, diabetes leads to dry mouth, which causes bad breath.

To learn more about bad breath and prevention, contact El Paseo Dental Clinic at (408) 370-0101 or (510) 750-1654. You can also visit our dental offices located in San Jose and Hayward in California for your dental concerns.

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