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    • 26 SEP 17
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    10 Common Causes of Halitosis

    Has your family accused you of having dragon breath—again? If you’re tired of dealing with bad breath and the embarrassment that comes with it, learn about the most common causes of halitosis and how to correct each one.

    Toothbrush and garlic on a white background

    Causes of Halitosis

    Failing to Brush and Floss

    Cause: If you forget to brush and floss each day, food particles linger in your mouth and feed the bacteria living there. Some bacteria leave smelly byproducts behind as they reproduce, making them one of the leading causes of halitosis.

    Remedy: Remember, food and bacteria collect between your teeth, on your tongue, and around the gum line, so thoroughly brush every surface and floss between all your teeth every day.

    Eating Strong Foods

    Cause: What you eat is a huge factor in how your breath smells. Strong foods such as garlic, onions, curry, aged cheese, fish, and coffee leave a strong odor in your mouth. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, your lungs exhale the stench with every breath.

    Remedy: While you wait until the smelly food completely passes through your system, brush, floss, chew gum, and suck on mints to temporarily mask your garlic breath.

    Dry Mouth

    Cause: Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth occurs when salivation decreases. Since saliva is responsible for rinsing your mouth and removing particles that cause odors, dry mouth is one of the major causes of halitosis. Various medical conditions, salivary gland issues, and continually breathing through your mouth can all cause xerostomia.

    Remedy: Suck on sugarless candy to increase your saliva production and drink more water to help you stay hydrated, an important factor in proper salivary gland function. You can also ask Dr. Evanson about a prescription for artificial saliva.

    Morning Breath

    Cause: It’s common for bad breath to appear in the morning because salivation nearly stops during sleep, causing temporary dry mouth.

    Remedy: Brush your teeth right when you get up to clean your mouth and restore a fresh minty scent that won’t offend your family.

    Using Tobacco Products

    Cause: Smoking and chewing tobacco are known for causing mouth, throat, and lung issues, including bad breath.

    Remedy: If you use tobacco, look for programs to help you quit.

    Dentures and Braces

    Cause: It’s more difficult to remove food particles from underneath dentures and around braces, which can lead to bacteria growth, rot, and unpleasant odors. Loose-fitting dentures and broken braces wires can also cause sores and infections that make your breath smell.

    Remedy: You may have an easier time brushing with dentures and braces if you use an electric toothbrush. Then, if your dental appliance doesn’t fit properly, visit Dr. Evanson for an adjustment.

    Oral Infections

    Cause: Cavities, gum disease, and impacted teeth are all examples of mouth problems that can cause halitosis.

    Remedy: The dentist office is the first place to go if you have bad breath but don’t know why. Dr. Evanson can perform a thorough oral exam to pinpoint any infections or other problems that require immediate attention.

    Tooth Grinding

    Cause: Also called bruxism, nighttime tooth grinding is something that occurs in your sleep. To understand what this does to your gums, imagine jabbing a stick into the dirt and moving the stick from side to side. The soil moves out of the way, which is also what your gums do after years of nighttime tooth grinding. This gum deterioration can cause your breath to smell bad.

    Remedy: Visit Dr. Evanson to have a mouth guard custom-made for you. Wear this when you sleep to prevent bruxism and protect your teeth and gums.

    Medical Disorders

    Cause: Everything from a local respiratory infection or chronic sinusitis to diabetes or gastrointestinal problems may cause bad breath.

    Remedy: If Dr. Evanson determines that your teeth and soft tissues are healthy, you may want to see a doctor about other possible medical conditions that could cause bad breath.


    Cause: While being pregnant doesn’t cause bad breath, its side effects often do. Morning sickness, hormonal changes, dehydration, and eating odd foods due to pregnancy cravings can all contribute to halitosis.

    Remedy: Keep up with brushing and flossing throughout your pregnancy and remember to drink plenty of water. Plan to see the dentist at least once during this nine-month period as well.

    Address Concerns About Bad Breath at Evanson DDS

    Now that you know the causes of halitosis and how to fix them, you may need some help from Dr. Evanson. We can help you determine if your bad breath is harmless or if there’s an underlying condition that needs to be addressed.

    To learn more about halitosis, or to schedule your next dental appointment, please call Dr. Evanson today at (720) 409-0008 or contact us online.

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