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Causes of Bad Breath

Causes of Bad Breath

Halitosis is the technical name for bad breath. The first step to eliminating bad breath is identifying the source of the odor. While everyone has the potential to experience bad breath, there are common risk factors that can be linked to bad breath.

They include:

Poor Oral Hygiene

An improper oral hygiene routine causes bad breath. If plaque and tartar are left on teeth, they can cause chronic bad breath. Brushing at least twice and flossing at least once daily can keep plaque and tartar at bay.

Tooth Decay

Bad breath can also be caused by tooth decay. If plaque buildup isn’t brushed away, it causes tooth decay. Tooth decay causes a distinct, foul odor.

Tobacco Use

Even an occasional cigarette or cigar can dry out your mouth, which can lead to bad breath. Cigarette smoke is also filled with chemicals that can stain your teeth and irritate your gums, all of which can cause bad breath.


There are a number of foods that cause bad breath. While it may be obvious that foods like onions and garlic create bad breath, some foods may not seem as obvious.

For example, dairy products often cause bad breath. The protein in dairy products can cause bad-smelling sulfur compounds to form in your mouth. That is why it is a great idea to brush your teeth after a meal that includes dairy products.

Medical Conditions

There are a variety of medical conditions that can cause bad breath.


Gingivitis is an infection of the gums. Bacteria cause plaque to build up on teeth and irritate the gum tissue, resulting in bad breath.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is caused by bacteria. It occurs when plaque builds up on teeth, leading to swollen gums. Bad breath is a common symptom of gum disease.

Inefficient Tongue Cleaning

Tongue cleaning is often neglected. Inadequate tongue cleaning can cause bad breath.

The tongue is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, which can cause bad breath and gum disease if left uncleaned. The bacteria on the tongue can build up and cause bad breath. It can also be transferred to the teeth and gums.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth can cause bad breath because saliva helps neutralize acids produced by plaque. Without saliva, plaque is left undisturbed. A dry mouth can cause bad breath because saliva helps neutralize acids produced by plaque. Without saliva, plaque is left undisturbed.

Medication Side Effects

Many medications cause dry mouth, which can contribute to bad breath. Prescription medications include antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, and antihistamines.

Visit Bishop Family Dental at 2120 E 3900 S #102, Salt Lake City, UT 84124, to consult with our dentist. Contact us at (801) 274-2500 or schedule an appointment online to visit us during our business hours. 


2120 E 3900 S #102, Salt Lake City, UT 84124

Phone: (801) 274-2500

Office Hours

MON 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

TUE 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

WED 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

THU 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: info@bishopfamilydental.com

Call or Text Us: (801) 274-2500


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