Bad Breath and Your Oral Health

Bad breath is not something that we want to hang around. It happens to us all, but it isn’t pleasant. Sometimes, it is a simple answer. However, bad breath can be complicated. So, if we want to get rid of our bad breath, we need to find its cause. 

woman holding her hands over her mouth covering bad breath dentist in Palmdale California

Common Reasons for Bad Breath


There are a variety of different things that can cause bad breath. Some are harmless and easily fixed. Others, you might need to seek medical attention. Here are four possible causes of your bad breath

Poor Oral Hygiene

One of the most common reasons for bad breath is poor oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day or after meals. Daily flossing is also a vital part of a healthy oral routine. This is not just to have a fresh mouth.

Brushing your teeth is necessary to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth. In addition, flossing allows you to eliminate the plaque buildup between your teeth that brushing misses. Plaque is an odor-causing bacteria that builds on your teeth. 

If you do not adequately remove plaque, it can cause bad breath. Additionally, plaque can harden into tartar, which requires professional removal. Finally, plaque can irritate the gums and destroy the enamel. Over time, you can develop tooth decay and gum disease


A more harmless cause for bad breath is related to your diet. Certain foods, such as onions or garlic, can leave behind a strong smell. When you break these foods down, the scent will linger after it enters your bloodstream and lungs.

To avoid bad breath, you can limit the amount of pungent food that you eat. Brushing your teeth after meals can help. Also, you can consider chewing gum after meals to reduce bad breath. 

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition in which you do not produce enough saliva. Saliva is necessary to keep your mouth moist and to neutralize the bacteria in your mouth. Without enough saliva, bacteria can multiply and thrive.

With an increase in bacteria, your breath can begin to smell. One way to avoid dry mouth is to stay hydrated by drinking water. Unfortunately, some medications cause dry mouth. You may need to discuss this problem with your doctor. 


Sometimes, bad breath is an indicator of a more serious issue. For example, infections can create a foul odor. After surgery, you can develop an infection if you do not take your antibiotics as directed or fail to keep the surgical site clean.

Additionally, certain oral issues can lead to infection if left untreated. Both gum disease and tooth decay can progress into an infection if not addressed by a dental professional.

To avoid infections, take your antibiotics as your dentist recommends. Also, continue to brush and floss your teeth as directed. A good oral hygiene routine can reduce your chances of developing tooth decay or gum disease. In addition, you should visit your dentist twice a year for a dental exam and professional cleaning.