The Primary Causes of Bad Breath

For many of us, we know of no obvious way to tell if our breath is bad- you have to look for the subtle signs. In social situations, for example, you may notice the way people act towards you. People may be stepping away from you or keeping their distance when you’re around. These could be those very subtle signs that your breath’s a bit…stinky. Fortunately for you, there are steps that you can start to make which will improve this.

Common Causes of Bad Breath

To start with, it is important to first know what actually causes bad breath for people. One of the most common causes of smelly gases escaping from your mouth is usually the bacteria (plaque) coating your teeth, gums, and tongue. This plaque will fester away at your mouth, if left alone, and will begin producing an odour very quickly. This will ultimately begin creating more serious problems for your oral health like gingivitis (an earlier stage of gum disease).

Further to this, those small bits of food getting caught between your teeth can also cause foul odours in your mouth. Many of us will already know that foods like garlic, coffee, and onions have potent odours that you can smell from a mile away. This only adds to the problem of bad breath. So, if you’re trying to keep your breath smelling immaculate, try to avoid these foods if at all possible.

All of this reinforces that simply keeping on top of your oral health by brushing twice daily and using floss regularly can make all the difference when preventing bad breath and gum disease. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and some people can have underlining medical issues that cause bad breath.

Illnesses That Can Cause Bad Breath

Xerostomia is a condition which means someone produces less saliva than normal. This ‘dry mouth’, as it is sometimes called, can come from various medicines, problems with the saliva glands, or breathing too excessively through the mouth. Luckily, your dentist will have options for you that can help with this. Other medical conditions, such as throat, nose, or lungs infection can cause you to have bad breath. Speaking to your GP may be the best course of action if your dentist thinks your mouth is healthy.

Smoking is another culprit that causes bad breath and a host of other problem. You can read more about this in our previous blog post. You’ll find that the only solution to this problem is just to quit smoking entirely, and there are plenty of ways to do this with the support of your GP’s advice.

A Quick Trick

If you are unsure, though, if you’ve got bad breath and feel too embarrassed to ask someone if you do (or don’t trust them to tell the truth!) a simple trick could help you with this. Simply licking the underside of your wrist and sniffing should reveal the extent of your bad breath. If you have further concerns regarding your oral health and think you could have an underlying health condition, we recommended booking a consultation with your dentist as soon as possible. By having a direct consultation, your dentist can then decide what the most appropriate course of action is for your individual case.


Unsure about your dental health? Call your nearest Synergy Dental Clinic and we’ll be happy to help.