What’s Causing My Bad Breath?

Published on July 24th, 2019 by Michael C. Griffin, D.M.D.

Bad breath can be embarrassing and tough to get rid of, especially if you’re not sure what’s causing it. Sometimes bad breath is a result of what you put in your mouth, but it can also be a sign of a deeper health condition or bad habit. So what are some causes of bad breath?

Oral Health 

Poor oral health is the number one cause of bad breath. If you’re not brushing your teeth regularly, your plaque build-up will eventually start to produce an odor. Stick to a consistent hygiene routine of brushing and flossing every day. Don’t forget to clean your tongue, too!

Oral Infections

Infections are caused by several reasons but are very common after oral surgery. If you are experiencing bad breath after a dental procedure, our dentists near Edgewater can inspect your mouth for oral infections and figure out ways to treat it. 

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach contents such as undigested food, bile, and other stomach acids into your esophagus. Ultimately, the reflux can destroy the enamel on your teeth, leading to bad breath. Try gargling and rinsing your mouth with non-alcoholic mouthwash.

Dry Mouth 

Your saliva is needed to wash away food particles and other odors. Dry mouth occurs naturally throughout the day and can usually be fixed by drinking water. Chronic dry mouth can be diagnosed and treated when you come to see us.   


Many prescription medications worsen dry mouth or contain chemicals that cause bad breath. Drink water and keep up with your oral health routine when taking these medications and make sure you consult your doctor if anything changes when you take the medications.  


Coffee, alcohol, and high-sugar diets can cause sour smells in your mouth. An easy fix is to switch up your diet or brush after each meal or snack to eliminate these odors. 


All tobacco products lead to foul breath. Also, smoking increases your chances of gum disease.

You can remedy your bad breath by eliminating the source and we can help find that source! Contact one of our dentists near Edgewater today at (773) 296-0325 to book an appointment if you feel you cannot figure out what’s causing your bad breath.  

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Northalsted Dental Spa

3710 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60613


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