What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?

What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?

Halitosis, or bad breath, is an unpleasant smell coming from your mouth. It comes in a variety of forms, including morning breath and foul odor. While unpleasant, halitosis is treatable. If you suffer from chronic bad breath, make an appointment with our dental team. 

Halitosis is usually caused by numerous factors, such as:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene, or brushing and flossing, is 80% of the solution to chronic bad breath. If you brush and floss your teeth regularly, your bad breath should be under control. However, if you don’t brush and floss, food particles and bacteria can accumulate in your mouth, causing bad breath. 


Diabetes is another condition that may lead to halitosis. This condition causes dry mouth, which can, in turn, cause bad breath. Diabetes can also cause damage to your salivary glands, which can create an environment in your mouth that is friendly to smelly bacteria.

Nutritional Conditions

The most common cause of bad breath is the food you eat. If you consume a lot of smelly or odiferous foods, your breath will smell bad as a result. Some foods, like garlic and onions, are highly odorous and can produce bad smells for hours. Other foods, like dairy, are known to cause bad breath.

Smoking Habits

Smoking is not only bad for your oral health but for your overall health as well. Smoking causes bad breath because it irritates the mucus membranes in your mouth, which makes it difficult to fight off bacteria. It also damages your gums and teeth, which can make you more likely to have gum disease.

Other Health Conditions

Bad breath can have a few different causes. Bacteria can cause halitosis, but so can gum disease, dry mouth, cavities, and other conditions.

For example, if you have a cavity, food particles and bacteria can build up in your mouth. These food particles break down and cause bad breath. This can also be caused by gum disease. When bacteria builds up on your teeth, it can cause bad breath.

Medications and Supplements

Many medications can cause bad breath. However, bad breath should subside once your body becomes used to the medication. Some medications that can cause bad breath include:

  • Antidepressants and antipsychotics
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diabetes medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Sedatives
  • Steroids
  • Smoking cessation products

In addition, some supplements can cause bad breath. For example, vitamin B3 can cause halitosis.

Contact Fear Free Dental in Portland, Oregon, for the best dental care. Call Dentist in Portland, OR at (503) 291-0000 or visit 4455 Sw Scholls Ferry Rd Suite 101 Portland, Oregon, 97225 to schedule an appointment.


4455 Sw Scholls Ferry Rd Suite 101, Portland, OR 97225

Office Hours

MON - WED 7:00 am - 4:00 pm

THU 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: info@fearfreedental.com

Phone: (503) 291-0000

Join Our Membership Plans