What Causes Bad Breath?

Why not use self-isolation as an opportunity to learn more about dental issues that might affect you or your loved ones? Today’s topic: bad breath.

An unpleasant smell coming from your mouth is often a source of embarrassment, but it can also be the symptom of a more serious health issue. Here are the most common causes of bad breath.

  • Bacteria

Naturally occurring bacteria that linger in your mouth release a foul scent, especially when they breakdown food particles. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth before bed, this process occurs overnight and is a common cause of morning breath.


  • Certain foods

Eating certain foods with a strong smell, such as garlic and onions, can affect the aroma of the air you exhale. This odour lingers in your mouth, but also travels through your bloodstream and into your lungs.


  • Dry mouth

Saliva helps cleanse your mouth by flushing out odour-causing bacteria and food particles. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems or continuously breathing through your mouth.


  • Gum disease

Chronic bad breath, referred to as halitosis, and a persistent stale taste in your mouth are symptoms of tooth decay and periodontal disease.


  • Tobacco

Smoking or chewing tobacco products stains your teeth and gives you bad breath. Tobacco also irritates gum tissue and increases your risk of developing gum disease. Since smoking dulls your sense of smell, you might not be aware of your bad breath.


  • Medical condition

In addition to a mouth infection such as gum disease, other medical conditions that can cause bad breath include a sinus infection, acid reflux, diabetes and liver or kidney disease.


How to Prevent Bad Breath?

The most effective way to prevent bad breath is to establish an oral hygiene routine that includes brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. If you use dentures, make sure to clean them at least once a day and soak them overnight to loosen plaque.


Here are some other ways to prevent or minimize bad breath:

  • Drink plenty of water to flush out your mouth
  • Gargle with mouthwash to further cleanse your mouth
  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production
  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco products


Finally, you should visit your dentist at least once a year for a professional cleaning and dental exam. During this appointment, your dentist will remove tartar and look for early signs of gum disease and other oral health problems.


Dentistry Services in Canmore

If you’re struggling with bad breath, the team at Canmore Smiles can help. We also offer cosmetic and restorative dentistry services to help you maintain a bright, healthy smile. For more information, or to schedule an appointment at our Canmore clinic, contact us today.