What Causes Bad Breath?

Halitosis or bad breath can be a significant problem, mainly when you are out on a date, about to whisper something to your friend, or in a job interview. Bad breath is caused by bacterial growth in the mouth. When you don’t floss or brush regularly, the bacteria can accumulate between your teeth and mouth. The sulfur compounds produced by the bacteria can cause bad breath.

Factors that contribute to halitosis or bad breath include:

General Oral Health

If you fail to clean your teeth and mouth regularly, food particles can accumulate in your mouth, forming plaque (sticky bacteria build-up) on your teeth. Tonsils and your tongue’s uneven surface can trap the food particles, releasing bad breath.

Poor oral health can cause gum disease and cavities linked to bad breath. To avoid this problem, it is advisable to maintain a thorough and consistent oral care routine.


If you love enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning, you may have noticed that it leaves you with bad breath. Due to its intense flavor, coffee can be a source of bad breath. The coffee leads to a reduction in saliva production.

Reduced saliva means an increased level of odor-causing bacteria. You can reduce coffee breath by brushing your teeth and drinking a glass of water immediately after taking coffee, gargling with mouthwash, and chewing sugarless gum.


Cigarettes are among the leading causes of bad breath. Besides, they can lead to more significant oral issues. Besides leaving you with an awful smell, smoking can damage your gum tissue and cause gum disease.

Digestive Issues

Constipation, bowel disorders, or poor digestion can cause bad breath. If you occasionally experience acid reflux, the odor from food can make its way back to the gullet and out of your mouth, causing bad breath. You can solve this by chewing sugar-free gum to enhance saliva production.


Consumption of alcohol is another cause of bad breath. The more often you consume alcohol, the more you will likely experience bad breath. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause a decrease in saliva production which is an ideal environment for the odor-causing bacteria to thrive. If it is possible, quit or moderate your alcohol consumption.

Mouth, Throat and Nose Conditions

Bad breath can come from small stones forming in the tonsils covered with odor-producing bacteria. Chronic inflammations and infection in the throat, sinuses, and nose can cause postnasal drip and bad breath.

Sugar Diets

Most people don’t know how diet can be among the leading causes of bad breath. When sugary foods react with the bacteria in your mouth, they can cause bad breath. The bacteria feed on the sugars and ultimately result in bad breath.

Experiencing a Bad Breath? We Can Offer a Solution!

If you suffer from bad breath, you don’t have to spend your entire life worrying about making the right impression. At Ladd Family Dental, our Greenville dentists are dedicated to helping you use your smile to enjoy and get the most out of life. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Parke Ladd.

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