What’s Causing Your Bad Breath?

There aren’t too many things more embarrassing than speaking to someone and having bad breath.

It is one thing to have bad breath that everyone else has at some time or another, but it is another thing to have unusually bad breath all the time.


Bad breath has many causes with some being as simple as poor dental hygiene and others being an ominous symptom of gum disease.

You should talk to your dentist about your bad breath as it can be a sign of a serious oral or health issue.

While waiting for your dental appointment, here are some possible causes of bad breath:


Halitosis is known as dry mouth. This common oral health issue is a result of insufficient saliva production. Saliva is your body’s natural mouth cleanser. A wet mouth makes it harder for food particles to get stuck on and between teeth. As a result, it is more difficult for cavity producing plaque and tartar to accumulate.

Saliva rinses out the decaying food particles in your mouth. With a low production of saliva, the trapped food will likely remain in the mouth, emitting a pungent odor as the sugars interact with the bacteria in the saliva.

Your Diet

Your diet was likely the first thing you altered in attempting to reduce your bad breath. It is true that such foods like onions, garlic and strong cheeses can produce bad breath.

What you probably didn’t know is that these foods will produce bad breath until they are eliminated from your body, which can be as long as one day.

Tobacco use can also cause bad breath.

Poor Dental Hygiene

Do you sometimes “forget” to brush your teeth before going to bed? Do you floss every day? Slacking off on your dental hygiene routine can contribute to your bad breath.

The food particles from the dinner you had a day ago can decay and decompose in your mouth when it is exposed to saliva. And, as you know, when anything decomposes, the smell isn’t pleasant.

Proper dental hygiene involves brushing your teeth and tongue twice a day for two minutes and daily flossing.

Neglecting to clean dental appliances like dentures can also contribute to bad breath. All removable dental appliances should be thoroughly cleaned once a day.

Health Issues

The health of your body and the health of your mouth are surprisingly, interconnected. Symptoms from an ailment somewhere else in your body can manifest as bad breath. Pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, yeast infections and liver or kidney problems are some health issues that cause bad breath.

Ill-fitting dental appliances cavities and gum disease can also result in bad smelling breath.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious oral health issue that can result in lost teeth and a weakened jawbone. The disease is the result of the build-up plaque on teeth.

The persistence of bad breath or having breath so bad you get a bad taste in your mouth are symptoms of gum (or periodontal) disease.

If you have bad breath and you aren’t sure what is causing it, schedule an appointment with one of the dentists at Marshall, Shofner & Phan Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry today. Bad breath can be a sign of gum disease which is better to treat early on.


Our Location

2820 Lurleen B Wallace Blvd, Northport, AL 35476

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Primary Location


7:00 am-5:00 pm


7:00 am-5:00 pm


7:00 am-5:00 pm


7:00 am-5:00 pm