The Causes of Bad Breath and How to Get Rid of It

According to eHarmony, there are three dating deal breakers: Bad breath, bad kissing, and bad style. At Soft Touch Dental, we’d venture to say that bad kissing and bad style are subjective. One person’s “bad kiss” may be another person’s “great chemistry.” And style is always a matter of personal taste.


But bad breath? It’s a universal turn-off.

So what exactly causes bad breath, and what can you do about it? Take a look at some of the causes and solutions below.

(P.S. Feel free to print this page and anonymously slip it into the mailbox of someone who desperately needs the information.)

The food you eat

The cause: As you digest your food, its broken-down bits go into your bloodstream and eventually head for your lungs. So even after you’ve brushed and flossed your teeth, strong odorous foods will be noticeable in your breath.

The solution: Keep track of the food you eat. Write it down. If you already practice good hygiene and don’t have any health problems that you know of, bring the food log to your dentist and ask if any in particular might be the cause of your bad breath. Once you figure out which foods are the culprits, you’ll be able to avoid them.

Poor oral hygiene

The cause: Brushing and flossing daily doesn’t just prevent cavities, but it also removes food particles from between your teeth and around your gums. If you don’t get those particles out, they’ll promote the bacteria that cause bad breath. Remember, bacteria accumulate between the taste buds and other tongue structures, too.

The solution: Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and in between, chew sugar-free gum, which can help dislodge food particles. And when you brush, don’t forget to brush your tongue. Also, replace your toothbrush every two to three months and after any illness. Dentures should be removed at night and replaced in the morning only after a thorough cleaning.

Health problems

The cause: The bacteria associated with cavities, gum disease, and yeast infections of the mouth are often the cause of bad breath. A medical condition called dry mouth could also be the culprit.  Dry mouth is a bad-breath-causing condition in which insufficient saliva production causes the decomposition of cells within the mouth that would otherwise be washed away by saliva.

The solution: Drink lots of water to keep your mouth moist and to wash away bacteria. Chew sugarless gum to help stimulate the production of saliva. And visit your dentist at least twice a year. Along with oral exams and teeth cleaning, your dentist will be able to detect and treat gum disease, dry mouth, or other dental concerns that may be the cause of your bad breath.

We can help!

At Soft Touch Dental in San Diego, we understand how embarrassing bad breath can be whether you’re dating, making sales calls, or just hanging out with friends. And we also know the relief that can come with finally understanding and eliminating the cause. Give us a call or come in to our office in Clairemont and schedule an appointment. We can help.