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Common causes of bad breath

Poor oral hygiene:

Our mouths are laden with bacteria. We must mechanically remove the bacteria and food particles with thorough brushing and flossing every day. Tongue hygiene is also essential since bacteria love to hang out on the rough surface of the tongue. Brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper daily is very important to prevent bad breath. Using an anti-microbial mouthrinse will also help to keep the odor-causing bacteria at bay.

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Gum disease:

Inflammation in the mouth affecting the gums (gingivitis) or the gums and the supporting bone (periodontitis) produces a foul odor. Having excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits can treat this condition.

Dental problems:

An infected or abscessed tooth or untreated decay can cause a severe odor. Be sure to have regular dental visits to detect any issues that could be causing your bad breath.

Dry mouth:

Since saliva is our mouth’s natural cleanser, a dry mouth allows for odor-causing bacteria to grow. Those that suffer from chronic dry mouth due to medications or health conditions may find that they have bad breath. Make sure to drink lots of water to counteract this condition. There are also saliva substitutes available to help moisturize the oral tissues. Dry mouth is also the main cause of the dreaded “morning breath” since during the night we produce much less saliva. Excellent oral hygiene before going to bed will help to minimize the chances of waking up with morning breath.


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It is common knowledge that smoking causes bad breath. Smoking also leads to dry mouth and periodontal disease which are also major bad breath culprits.

Sinus infections:

During a sinus infection, there is usually inflammation, an over-production of mucus and a post-nasal drip, all of which can cause bad breath. If you are unable to breathe through the nose, those with sinus infections are forced to breathe through the mouth, which dries out the mouth and worsens the problem. For acute infections, the bad breath usually clears up after the infection is treated. Those that suffer from chronic sinus infections could experience chronic bad breath that may be harder to treat.


Certain foods and drinks may have a lingering effect on our breath. Onions, garlic, and coffee are often the offenders here. Make sure to brush and floss thoroughly after meals to avoid bad breath. Chewing, sugarless gum will help to stimulate the saliva and cleanse the mouth if you are unable to brush right away.

Sometimes bad breath can be caused by more serious health conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes. If you are experiencing bad breath that is not going away, let your dentist know. Call you to schedule your appointment now: (905) 605-5020