Causes of Bad Breath

Causes of Bad Breath

Halitosis, or bad breath, affects approximately 80 million people in the United States. It’s usually caused by poor oral hygiene, but it can be a sign of other health problems and conditions, too. Bad breath can occur due to a number of reasons, such as:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Bad breath can be caused by a number of different factors. Not brushing and flossing teeth can often result in bad breath – food particles and plaque can be left behind and can cause bad breath. 

Gum Disease

Gum disease occurs when plaque and bacteria are not removed from the teeth and gums. Without proper treatment, gum disease can cause bad breath.

When patients’ gum disease is not treated, the bacteria continue to grow. This leads to a buildup of plaque, which also leads to bad breath.


Tobacco use can cause many oral health problems. Along with bad breath, smoking causes oral cancer, gum disease, and stained teeth. It can also cause bad breath by leaving particles on the tongue or in the smoker’s lungs.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, or halitosis, can originate in the mouth or throat. Mouth dryness can be caused by many conditions, including dehydration, stress, aging, diabetes, or hormonal changes. Certain medications, such as antihistamines, may also cause your saliva production to decrease.

Dry mouth can be caused by poor oral hygiene as well. 


Medications. Many medications can create a bad odor. The oral medications that cause this are called anticholinergics. Anticholinergics exist to treat a number of conditions, including depression, allergies, and ADHD.

If a patient is taking an anticholinergic and has noticed a change in their breath odor, they should talk to their doctor about adjusting their medication or switching to a different medication.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions can also cause bad breath. For example, medical conditions such as diabetes, liver or kidney dysfunction, and bronchitis can cause bad breath.

If your bad breath is a result of an underlying condition, it’s important to visit your doctor. The doctor may prescribe treatment that will help clear up your bad breath.


One of the leading causes of bad breath is poor diet. If you tend to eat a lot of sugary and starchy foods, you could be providing the perfect fuel for bad breath.

This is because these types of foods can leave particles in your mouth. Bacteria feed on the particles and multiply, resulting in bad breath.

Preventive Measures for Bad Breath

Maintaining good oral hygiene practices can help prevent bad breath from developing. This includes brushing (at least twice per day) and flossing. You should also visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup.

To find out more about the dental services offered at Monica Neely DDS, call (405) 302-0100 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit our office at 2408 NW 178th St, Edmond, OK 73012. We will guide you further.


2408 NW 178th St, Edmond, OK 73012

Phone: (405) 302-0100

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Call or Text Us: (405) 302-0100