What Causes Halitosis?

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is embarrassing and can be kind of gross. There are a number of causes for halitosis and here we’ll explain those causes and how you can prevent bad breath.

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Diet & Food Choice

There are the kinds of foods that most people know that you should keep away from if you don’t want bad breath. Garlic, onions, and coffee are the usual foods that people think of when they think of halitosis, but there are a number of others that you may not consider. Spices, alcohol, and sodas can also affect your breath. As you digest these kinds of foods, they enter into your bloodstream and are taken to your lungs so your breath doesn’t taste as fresh. Food particles from sugary and starchy foods that are not removed from your mouth can also start to smell and create bacteria. It’s also important to eat a healthy diet rich in fibrous foods like fruits and vegetables, which can help clear away the food particles left in your mouth.


Beyond staining your teeth and causing gum disease, tobacco leaves a very unpleasant odor in your mouth. There are a number of smoking cessation resources that can help you get better breath and a healthier mouth.


Some medications have a side effect of bad breath, including nitrates, chemotherapy medication, and tranquillisers. They usually don’t directly cause bad breath, but often lead to dry mouth.

Dry Mouth

Speaking of dry mouth, this condition reduces the production of saliva which helps to clean the mouth by removing food particles and bacteria that cause smelly odors. Some people are naturally predisposed to dry mouth, while others are caused by issues with diseases and salivary glands. If you have chronic dry mouth, call us to discuss treatment options.

Poor Health

There are a number of health conditions that can also contribute to bad breath including sinus infections, respiratory tract infections, diabetes, kidney and liver diseases, gastritis, and bronchitis.  

Poor Dental Hygiene

Poor oral health is one of the biggest causes of bad breath. To combat halitosis, it’s vital that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time, floss at least once a day, and brush with fluoride toothpaste. Daily oral health care removes bad breath-causing food particles, bacteria, and plaque. Not brushing your tongue can also cause bad breath because bacteria and food particles sit there, as well.

It’s also vital to come in for regular checkups and cleanings. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!