Six Dental Causes of Bad Breath

Is Halitosis a problem that you struggle with?

Chronic bad breath can be embarrassing on both private and social levels, whether we’re aware of it or not. It’s usually a sensitive subject for our patients to discuss, but at Studfield Dental Group we’re happy to help you determine the underlying cause of breath malodour and what to do to help it.

Aside from avoiding odorous foods like garlic and dairy, here are three big issues that can cause halitosis (bad breath):

Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

Dry mouth can be caused by many issues; most commonly reactions to medications can cause side effects of dry mouth. Many mouthwashes used in most households contain alcohol which dries out your soft tissues causing dry mouth.

Xerostomia isn’t just bothersome, it affects the natural flora levels of healthy bacteria inside of your mouth. As a result, unhealthy ones can flourish, creating an odour that seems impossible to fight off. Ask our dentists about treatments for dry mouth. In the meantime, sip on water as frequently as possible throughout the day.

Periodontitis (Gum Disease)

Periodontal disease has a very distinct odour that it gives off, and you won’t be able to cover it up no matter what you try.

To eliminate the bacteria giving off the foul smell, you need to have the areas deep under your gumlines cleaned by a professional. Eliminating the source of infection and any necrotic tissues left behind are the best first steps toward fresher breath.

Cleaning Your Tongue

The tongue houses somewhere around 90% of the bacteria that cause bad breath. If you’re not cleaning your tongue each time you brush and floss, those odorous bacteria aren’t going anywhere. Invest in a soft plastic tongue cleaner, or at the very least, brush your tongue from back to front to remove some of the residue.

Dental Infections

Hidden infections like an abscessed tooth can be a silent contributor to bad breath. These infections create a playground for bacteria to thrive, emitting unpleasant odours. If you experience persistent bad breath with tooth pain, it’s time to seek help from a dental professional.


Cavities can cause quite its fair share of trouble. As bacteria begin to build in these cavities, they create a breeding ground for the sulphur-producing microbes. If you suspect a cavity might be causing your bad breath, prompt dental attention is important. Fillings or other restorative measures can help put a stop to both the decay and the odour that comes with it.

In maintaining a fresh breath, understanding these dental causes is a vital first step.

Unclean Dental Appliances

Dental appliances like dentures, braces or retainers can cause bacteria to build up if not cleaned properly. The food particles and bacteria trapped in these appliances can contribute to bad breath. Ensure that you properly follow our dentist’s instructions for cleaning and maintaining dental appliances.

Schedule an exam at Studfield Dental Group to speak to our oral health experts about some easier ways to enjoy fresher, healthier breath.