New Patients 704-486-8911

Current Patients 704-596-6767

3014 Baucom Rd #100 Charlotte, NC 28269

Common Causes of Halitosis

All of us have suffered from bad-smelling breath at some point, especially after a strongly flavored meal. But in most cases, you can get rid of lingering odors in your mouth with oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth will remove food particles that often cause bad breath so that you can feel and smell fresh again.

However, sometimes bad breath lingers and develops on a chronic basis, even after completing your oral hygiene regimen. Persistent bad breath, also called halitosis, might point to a larger dental problem, so you should not ignore it.

Knowing the cause of your halitosis can better help you fight it and even prevent it. Find four potential reasons you may develop chronic bad breath by reading on.

Common Causes of Halitosis

Fragrant Foods

Brushing and flossing your teeth will get rid of lingering bits of food in your mouth to resolve many cases of bad breath. But your diet can affect your breath in other ways. Some food items contain fragrant oils that will absorb into your bloodstream, not just stay in your mouth. Then they can travel to your lungs and make your breath smell for longer than a day.

Oral hygiene cannot address this type of bad breath. So pay attention to the foods you eat and how they influence the smell of your breath. Garlic and onions are two examples of foods that produce this effect.

Improper Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is a necessary practice that gets rid of lingering food particles, plaque build-up, and other residues that can accrue on your teeth. If left on your smile, plaque will eat away at your dental structure. This weakens your teeth and increases your risk of cavities and other dental dangers.

However, plaque also contains natural oral bacteria that will begin to give off a foul odor that will affect your breath. So you need to adhere to good oral hygiene if you want to prevent halitosis. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, morning and night. And floss every day to clean between the teeth as well.


About half of American adults will develop gum disease, an infection in the gum tissue. In its early stages, gingivitis, you can see swelling and irritation in the gum tissue. But as it advances, bacteria will deteriorate the structure of your teeth, gums, and jaw.

Excess bacteria will collect in the gum pockets as well in the event of advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis. You will need treatment from your dentist to get rid of gum disease, so dentists advocate for preventative care when it comes to periodontal health. Practice proper oral hygiene to reduce your risk of oral infections, which should include attending routine teeth cleanings at your dentist’s office.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a type of damage that occurs in a tooth when natural oral bacteria access a weak part of the enamel, the outer layer of a tooth. Decay will continue to eat away at your tooth, and when a hole forms on its surface, this is called a cavity.

You can notice some symptoms in a cavity, including discoloration on the tooth and tooth sensitivity pain. But bad breath may also develop due to excess bacteria from the decay.

Treating the decay can resolve this type of halitosis. But do not delay cavity treatment. The problem will worsen without help from your dentist.