Bad Breath – Symptoms and Causes

Bad Breath is embarrassing.  It is even worse if you find that you have it, and no one has told you.  Halitosis or Malodor, aka bad breath, can ruin both personal and/or business relationships.

Here are some possible causes of bad breath:

  • Lack of oral hygiene:  Bad breath is often caused by bacteria building up in your mouth.  Brushing and flossing are key. Cavities or gum disease can be a culprit of bad breath.   Tongue scraping is needed to remove the bacteria from the tongue.
  • Medications: Your saliva rinses away the bacteria that causes bad breath.  Some medications such as diuretics and allergy meds can cause your mouth to become dry.
  • Respiratory Infections: The presences of mucus feeds the bacteria causing bad breath (this can be from lungs, bronchial tubes, and even tonsils)
  • Your diet: A diet of low carbohydrates burns the fat stored in your body and in turn can cause odorous ketones.
  • Mouth Breathing: Just breathing through your mouth causes the saliva to dry and inhibits the bacteria from being flushed away.  This can come from snoring, asthma, or even sleep apnea.
  • Chronic Illness: Kidney or Liver Disease can produce a fishy type smell.  Diabetes that is not under control can cause a fruity smell. Acid Reflux can create a foul smelling breath.
  • Alcohol: Drinking alcohol consistently and heavily can cause the mouth to become dry.  The saliva is not being produced to help wash away the bacteria causing bad breath.
  • Food: after digesting some foods (for example onions or garlic) they enter the bloodstream and in the process are carried to the lungs thereby giving off a foul odor.

These are just a few of the causes of bad breath.  If you are not sure if you suffer from this, there are a couple of ways to tell.  First, ask a friend to smell your breath.  If this is too much to ask, then when you finish flossing, check and smell the floss.  If it smells or if there is blood on the floss, then you have a bad breath issue.

If you need help determining what is the source of your bad breath, contact Monica Neely DDS to schedule an appointment. We will evaluate your health and come up with a plan.

About monicaneelydds

Dr. Monica Neely, DDS is a practicing Dentist in Edmond, OK. Dr. Neely graduated from University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and has been in practice for 24 years. She then completed Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Residency, a one-year post-graduate training in complex dental cases.

View All Posts

« Back to Blog

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply