Joseph Ramellini, DMD

Gabrielle Ramellini, DMD, Diplomate, ABDSM

Joseph Ramellini, DMD

Gabrielle Ramellini, DMD, Diplomate, ABDSM

Reasons for Bad Breath or Halitosis

Pretty blonde woman covering her mouth for fear of bad breath

When someone offers you a breath mint or stick of gum do you worry that you might have bad breath? Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is an embarrassing issue. However, if you understand what causes it, you can take steps to proactively rid your mouth of foul odors.

Foods You Eat

According to the makers of Listerine mouthwash, 80% of bad breath is caused by the foods we eat. The top offenders are garlic, onion, dairy products, tuna, and horseradish. To prevent bad breath, brush and floss quickly after eating these foods. Rinsing with mouthwash also helps. Sometimes even with good hygiene, food odors may linger awhile.

Gingivitis and Gum Disease

Gum disease and gingivitis stem from bacteria in your mouth. They produce a waste product with a noxious odor. In return, you have foul breath. This odor is chronic and doesn’t go away when you brush your teeth. The only way to get rid of the smell is by treating the infection. Peak Dentistry offers a full range of treatments for various stages of gum disease.


Besides the infection that causes gingivitis and gum disease, you may have bad breath if you have a tooth infection. The only way to freshen your breath, in this case, is by receiving treatment for the infection.

Poor Dental Hygiene

Even if you don’t have gingivitis or gum disease, poor dental hygiene can result in bad breath. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, bacteria and food particles remain in your mouth, which will cause you to have bad breath. Most people are good about brushing but admit to being poor flossers. Avoiding bad breath is a great incentive to step up the game on flossing.

Dry Mouth

The saliva in your mouth helps keep it clean. When you don’t have an adequate amount of saliva, bacteria remain and the food particles break down, causing an unpleasant smell. Drugs like amphetamines, antipsychotics, and diuretics can lead to bad breath because they cause dry mouth. Drinking alcohol and coffee can also lead to dry mouth. Drinking lots of water can help prevent bad breath caused by dry mouth.

Medical Issues

Sometimes, an odor in your mouth comes from a medical condition, such as diabetes. Other examples include some cancers and metabolic disorders because they cause a release of certain chemicals. Sinus problems and infections can also cause bad breath. Halitosis isn’t a serious issue by itself but it can mean you have an oral health problem or a medical condition that needs treatment.

Oral Health Care in Clyde, NC

If you suffer from persistent bad breath, let the Ramellini doctors exam you to determine the underlying cause. At Peak Dentistry, serving Clyde, NC, and the nearby region, we can educate patients and provide treatment and routine care to keep your teeth healthy and your breath smelling fresh. Please contact us for an appointment.

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