Top 5 Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is an extremely common problem. Short-term bad breath, from morning breath to the residual odors from consuming garlic, can typically be managed with breath mints or mouthwash until you can brush your teeth. Chronic halitosis, though, does not yield readily to these cures, and can become a source of social embarrassment or even isolation. Fortunately, once the root cause of the bad breath is identified, it can typically be treated. Here are the top 5 causes of chronic bad breath.

Top 5 Causes of Bad Breath - Creek

Poor Oral Hygiene

Food particles and bacteria linger in the mouth long after a meal is consumed. If not brushed away, they can turn into sticky plaque or even harden into tartar. These items often carry an offensive odor. Poor oral hygiene, or the failure to completely remove food debris and bacteria on a regular basis, is often the culprit behind chronic bad breath.

Oral Illness

Gum disease and tooth decay can result in highly offensive rotting odors. The only way to get rid of halitosis caused by oral illnesses is to undergo proper dental treatments. Your dentist will assess your oral health and develop a treatment plan to take care of any lingering issues.


A wide range of common medications can cause dry mouth, which is in itself a common cause of bad breath. In addition, some medications cause systemic changes throughout your body that can result in halitosis. If your medication is causing bad breath, talk to your doctor. You might be able to change to a less offensive medication, or your doctor might have suggestions for counteracting this side effect.

Systemic Illness

Certain acute and chronic illnesses cause changes in the body that can result in bad breath. Diabetes, respiratory infections, tonsillitis, and kidney infections are among the most common. In this case, getting the underlying condition under control will resolve the bad breath. In the meantime, your doctor may be able to help you find something that will treat the halitosis without interfering with any needed medications.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is often a side effect of medications, but it can also occur on its own. Saliva has natural antibacterial properties that help keep the mouth clean, but if your saliva production is lower than average, your mouth can become overwhelmed by odor-causing bacteria. Sugar-free gum, mouth sprays, and gels can help stimulate the production of saliva. Prescription medications are also available.

Bad breath is annoying at best and socially isolating at worst. However, identifying and treating the underlying condition that is causing it can help to ensure that halitosis is a thing of the past. Talk to your doctor or dentist about any persistent bad breath that you experience.

Conveniently located in Woodbury, MN, Creekview Dental provides a progressive yet conservative approach to dental care. Our innovative, highly personalized procedures are focused on maintaining tooth structure and providing you with the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve. Call us today at 651-738-8204 to take the first steps on the road to better dental health.