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Causes of Bad Breath

Having bad breath is something many of us worry about. While proper brushing is usually enough to fight mouth odor, some underlying causes can make it difficult to get rid of your bad breath. In order to properly treat bad odor, you need to know where it is coming from.

Bad breath can be caused by a number of things. Here are a few of the most common.

Poor Dental Hygiene

Not brushing or flossing enough is an extremely common cause of bad breath. When you’re not properly removing food particles from your mouth, they can begin to break down and cause bacteria to grow. As bacteria forms, your gums can become irritated and gum disease can develop. This bacteria can cause an odor in your mouth.

Tobacco Use

If you smoke or use oral tobacco products, you’re more likely to develop gum disease. Just as with poor hygiene, bacteria growing in the mouth can lead to bad breath and unpleasant odors.


Smelly foods can increase your chances of having bad breath. Certain spices or foods like onions and garlic can cause you to have bad breath. However, they can continue to cause bad breath even after you’ve brushed your teeth. As they break down during digestion, they can continue to cause an odor.

Dry Mouth

Saliva is an important part of maintaining a healthy mouth. If your mouth is not producing enough saliva, this can lead to dry mouth. Not only can this be uncomfortable, but it can also cause bad breath. Dry mouth may occur because of dehydration or as a side effect of certain medications, although chronic dry mouth is caused by problems with the salivary glands.

Infections and Other Conditions

If you’ve recently undergone surgery of the mouth, such as a wisdom teeth extraction or tooth removal, this can also contribute to bad breath. Other infections, like mouth sores, may also cause odor. However, an illness or sinus infection may also cause bad breath.

Proper hygiene is the first step in fighting bad breath. If you’re in need of an appointment with Dr. Anderson, contact our Kansas City office today at 816.454.3336.

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