What Causes a Foul-Smelling Breath?

posted in: General Dentistry | 0

Having a smelly breath once in a while, especially when waking up after a good night’s sleep is normal and experienced by many. However, there are cases wherein a foul-smell lingers and is not easily remedied by over-the-counter products intended to freshen one’s breath. This condition is referred to as halitosis.

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is not something to ignore, as it can be an indication of something more serious. Foul-Smelling breath can cause a person to feel embarrassed, which affects their self-esteem when socializing with other people.

bad breath


Knowing what causes bad breath is essential in finding out the proper solution in treating the root cause of the problem. For our patients at Retro Dental Highlands to further understand more about halitosis, we have prepared a list of the most common factors that cause the said condition.

Poor oral hygiene

Bacteria break down food particles trapped in the teeth or mouth. Due to the poor practice of oral care, the combination of bacteria and rotting food left in the mouth leads to the production of an unpleasant odor. That is why brushing and flossing plays a crucial role in preventing oral complications like gum disease and tooth decay, but bad breath as well.

Food and beverages

Certain food and drinks consumed can cause bad breath. This is because foods are absorbed into the bloodstream, moves to the lungs, and then exhaled. That said, if a patient recently consumes something pungent, it can be smelled by others when they talk. The odor can be masked by brushing or using mouthwash, but this is only temporary. If the culprit is still present, the bad smell is less likely to go away.

Oral issues

Some oral issues such as cavities and deep periodontal pockets due to gum disease can cause halitosis. That is because the conditions previously mentioned leaves areas where bacteria can hide, which are difficult to thoroughly clean by just brushing and flossing.

Dry mouth

Saliva plays a vital role in oral health, and even to one’s breath, as it naturally cleans the mouth by washing away unwanted leftovers from the mouth. The said substance also helps in breaking down food while preventing cavities and infections. If the mouth happens to produce less amount of saliva, it can lead to a condition referred to as dry mouth, which can cause bad breath. Some of the several factors that can lead to dry mouth include alcohol use, tobacco use, certain medications, and more.

Smoking and tobacco use

Tobacco products cannot only harm the body, but one’s oral health as well. The use of these harmful products can leave an unpleasant odor in the breath, and even cause the mouth to dry out. In addition, smokers are more likely to develop gum disease, a factor that can contribute to halitosis.

Other chronic conditions

Halitosis is often linked to something concerning the mouth, but it may also be a sign of certain chronic conditions such as gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.


For persistent bad breath, it is best to consult the dentist before it’s too late. Here at Retro Dental Highlands, let us help you find the root cause and then provide the necessary solution for your problem with our Halitosis Treatment in Denver, CO! You can visit us at 3025 W. 38th Ave. Denver, CO 80211 to get started.