Top 5 Causes of Bad Breath and How to Prevent It

Top 5 Causes of Bad Breath and How to Prevent It

Bad breath, or halitosis, is extremely common and can be quite embarrassing. Morning breath, odiferous breath from consuming garlic or onions, and other short term cases can typically be managed with mints and mouthwash. Chronic bad breath, though, can be tough to manage. Fortunately, once the root cause is found, it is easy to treat. Here are the top 5 causes of stubborn bad breath.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Although saliva goes a long way toward rinsing out the mouth, it is not sufficient on its own. Failing to brush and floss regularly and completely allows odor causing bacteria to linger. These bacteria will turn into sticky plaque and eventually harden into dental tartar that is nearly impossible to remove at home. Therefore, poor oral hygiene is a leading cause of bad breath.

Oral Disease

Tooth decay and gum disease can cause offensive rotting smells. In this case, the only way to get rid of the bad breath is to treat the illness. Your dentist will carefully assess your full oral health and create a treatment plan to correct the issues that are found. Once your oral disease is gone, your dentist can treat any lingering issues with bad breath.


Many popular medications cause dry mouth, or xerostomia, which is a common cause for bad breath. In addition, some medications cause system wide changes in the body that can result in bad breath. If you have medication-related bad breath, talk to your doctor. You may be able to switch to a different medication, or your doctor might have some suggestions on counteracting this unpleasant side effect.

Systemic Illness

Some illnesses, both acute and chronic, can cause offensive breath. Some of the most common include tonsillitis, sinusitis, diabetes, and kidney infections. When the underlying disease is under control, the bad breath will resolve. In the meantime, your doctor may be able to suggest a treatment for halitosis that does not interfere with needed medications.

Dry Mouth

As mentioned above, dry mouth is often associated with medications, but sometimes it occurs on its own. Saliva has natural antibacterial properties, but those with lower than average saliva production can easily have their mouths overwhelmed by odor causing bacteria. Try sugar-free hard candy or gum, or an over the counter mouth spray or gel to stimulate saliva production. If these products don’t work, prescription medications are also available.

Bad breath can be frustrating, embarrassing, and even socially isolating. Fortunately, though, even stubborn chronic halitosis responds well to treatments once the underlying cause is identified. Speak with your dentist as soon as possible to start treating your bad breath.

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If you are searching for a trustworthy, professional, and caring dentist in West Milford, we invite you to make an appointment with Dr. Jamorozek today at 973-728-3779.