Bad breath can be off-putting to anyone, whether you’re in a job interview or on a date. Even though bad breath can be caused by a variety of things, it’s often the result of poor oral hygiene. Read on to find out what causes bad breath.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Failing to brush and floss regularly will allow food to sit between teeth, causing bacteria to grow and resulting in bad breath. Mouthwash is also an important step in the oral care routine because it removes those odor-causing bacteria from your mouth.

Gum Disease

One of the most common causes of bad breath is gum disease. If plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on your teeth, it can cause your gums to become inflamed and swollen. Your gums will bleed easily when you brush or floss, and they will likely appear dark red in color. You may also notice that your breath smells worse as a result of rotting food particles in your mouth.

The bacteria that cause gum disease can also spread to the inner tissues of your mouth, which can result in tooth decay and tooth loss. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups can help prevent gum disease.


People who smoke generally have the worst breath of all, and the odor can linger for hours after the smoke has cleared. This is because smoking causes gum disease and tooth decay, as well as other oral health issues. When your gums show any signs of disease or infection, your breath is likely to suffer as well. In addition to causing bad breath, smoking can also stain your teeth, so quitting can help both your smile and your social life!


Tooth decay, or cavities, is one of the most common causes of bad breath. This is because tooth decay causes an infection in the tooth and gum. The infection releases toxins into your body that travels through your bloodstream and eventually reach your lungs. Once in the lungs, the odor can be released into the air when you exhale. Additionally, pain from tooth decay results in difficulty eating, which can then lead to malnutrition and a weakened immune system. Both of these factors can cause bad breath as well.

Dry Mouth

Chronic dry mouth is another factor that can lead to unpleasant breath. Saliva helps wash away bacteria and food particles, so without it, the mouth can become dry and the bacteria are able to thrive.


To learn more about ways to maintain good oral health, please reach out to the dental office located in San Mateo, CA 94401 at (650) 342-8618, and we’ll be happy to help.

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