Six Causes of Bad Breath | Dr. Bittner Toohey

Bad Breath, where does it come from

Bittner Dental Clinic

There are many reasons for having bad breath and while most are innocuous, bad breath can be a sign of something more serious! According to the American Dental Association, 50% of adults have had bad breath. Here are six causes of bad breath of which you should be aware.

  • Bacteria – There are hundreds of bacteria that are indigenous to the human oral cavity. These bacteria help to initiate the digestive process but also contribute to Dental Plaque formation. Without good oral hygiene these bacteria will contribute to bad breath.
  • Dry Mouth – Dry mouth (the absence of saliva) can be caused by many medications, problems with the salivary glands or simply by breathing through the mouth. Saliva has many anti-bacterial properties and without sufficient saliva, bacteria can overtake the mouth and cause odors.
  • Gum Disease – Simply put, bacterial plaque causes gum disease. Bad breath is one of the subtle warning signs for gum disease.
  • Food – Aromatic compounds in foods like onions and garlic are eliminated through the lungs, not the digestive tract! No matter how good your home care, these foods will cause breath problems!
  • Smoking – Smoking causes bad breath as well as a whole host of other potentially more serious problems like gum disease and cancer. It also affects your ability to smell and your sense of taste.
  • Medical conditions – Bad breath can result from sinus problems, liver or kidney diseases, gastric reflux or any of a host of other causes. In the absence of other obvious causes, referral to a physician may be needed.