Is it Just Bad Breath or Something More Serious?

Is it just bad breath or something more serious

If you’ve ever been told by a friend or loved one that you have bad breath, you’re not alone. In fact, almost half of all adults suffer from chronic halitosis, or bad breath. While it’s often brushed off as nothing serious, bad breath can actually be a sign of something more serious going on in your body. In this blog post, we will discuss the many causes of bad breath and how to get rid of it for good!

What is halitosis?

So, what is halitosis? Halitosis is defined as an unpleasant odor that originates from the mouth. While it can be caused by something as simple as eating garlic or drinking coffee, chronic halitosis is usually a sign of poor oral hygiene or a more serious underlying health condition.

Causes of Bad Breath

There are many factors that can contribute to bad breath. These can include one or more of the following:



Bacteria are one of the most common culprits. When plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, it provides the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria then release foul-smelling compounds that can cause bad breath.


Certain foods and drinks can also contribute to bad breath. Food can play a role in bad breath for a few different reasons. First, certain foods and drinks can cause an unpleasant odor that lingers in the mouth. This is especially true for items like garlic, onions, and fish. Secondly, the foods you eat are then absorbed into the bloodstream. This eventually causes them to move to the lungs, which creates an odor in the air that you exhale.

While the odor from these items is typically temporary and will go away after you brush your teeth or tongue, some odors may linger until the foods have passed through your body.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is one of the most common causes of bad breath. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. This provides the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive and release foul-smelling compounds.


Eating too much sugar can also contribute to bad breath. This is because the sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, leading to an increase in foul-smelling compounds.


Smoking is another major cause of bad breath. This is because the nicotine and tar from cigarettes can build up on your teeth and tongue, leading to an unpleasant odor. Unfortunately, smoking also affects your sense of smell, so many smokers are unaware of how their breath smells.

Digestive Problems

Digestive problems like GERD or gastritis can also cause bad breath. This is because the stomach acid can travel up your throat and into your mouth, leading to an unpleasant odor.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is another common cause of bad breath. This is because saliva helps to cleanse your mouth and remove food particles and bacteria. If you don’t have enough saliva, these particles and bacteria can build up, leading to bad breath.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is another major cause of bad breath. This is because the bacteria can cause your gums to become inflamed and bleed. Advanced gum disease can eventually allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream, leading to an unpleasant odor and a variety of other health complications.

Is it serious?

As you can see, there are various factors that can cause bad breath. While some of these causes are more serious than others, it’s important to see your dentist if you’re suffering from chronic halitosis. This is because bad breath can be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs to be treated.

Your dentist will be able to help determine the cause of your bad breath and recommend the best course of treatment. In some cases, bad breath can be treated with a simple change in oral hygiene habits. However, more serious cases may require medication or other treatments.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

toothpaste on toothbrush

Now that we’ve discussed the many causes of bad breath, let’s talk about how to get rid of it. The first step is to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, as well as tongue scraping. You should also visit your dentist for regular cleanings.

In addition to practicing good oral hygiene, you can also try using a mouthwash or chewing sugar-free gum to freshen your breath. If you smoke, quitting is the best way to get rid of bad breath. Finally, if you have a digestive problem like GERD or gastritis, you should talk to your doctor about treatment options.

In Conclusion

In this blog, we’ve discussed bad breath and its many causes. We’ve also talked about how to get rid of bad breath. Bad breath can be embarrassing and frustrating. But with good oral hygiene, regular dental visits, and a few simple lifestyle changes, you can get rid of bad breath for good!


Fredrick Farahi, DDS, PC - SmileMclean Dentistry

Fredrick Farahi, DDS, PC

Dr. Fredrick Farahi, a native of Northern Virginia, received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Howard University in Washington D.C. in 1990. Since then, Dr. Farahi’s continuing education has ventured him toward more challenging areas of Dentistry, including Cosmetic Dentistry, Reconstructive Dentistry, and Implant Dentistry. Dr. Farahi is passionate about keeping up with the latest advances in dentistry.