What Causes Bad Breath?

October 23, 2021

Have people in the office been avoiding conversations with you? Do you feel as though your spouse has been less affectionate? Did your child straight up tell you your breath stinks? Then you may be suffering from bad breath. While it might be the broccoli or garlic pasta you had for lunch, the causes of bad breath can be more serious.

A Common Stench

man with bad breath

Don’t feel alone. 1 in 3 people experiences ongoing bad breath or halitosis. Bad breath is the third most common reason for seeing a dentist in the United States. While most of the time, bad breath isn’t a big deal, there are some issues that your dentist can diagnose if you feel like your bad breath may have a more severe cause.

  1. Cavities. 90% of American adults have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. Cavities are caused by bacteria that sit on the surface of your teeth and eat away at the enamel. This bacteria then lives and breeds inside the hole they leave behind. If left untreated, a cavity will turn into severe tooth decay. Decay is just another word for death. As your tooth begins to die, it begins to put off an odor. If you have bad breath, a cavity could be the culprit.
  2. Diabetes. Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, this disease is another cause for bad breath. High blood sugar levels can increase the saliva in your mouth. With increased saliva comes a more significant breeding ground for sugar bugs to eat away the enamel of your teeth. As more plaque builds up on your teeth, the stinkier your breath may become.
  3. Tonsil Stones. While these are caused mainly by oral bacteria, tonsil stones form at the back of your throat. They appear yellow or white in color and are usually pretty firm. Because bacteria form them, they can put off a pretty strong odor. If you are unsure if you have tonsil stones, it is a good idea to see your dentist. Tonsil stones can cause a sore throat or the feeling that your throat is closing. They can even make you feel like you have an ear infection!

You Don’t Have to Let it Linger

No, bad breath does not have to be a character flaw or a warning on a first date. While we strongly suggest a less odorous lunch for the sake of your co-workers, we also recommend establishing a routine dental schedule with your dentist. At Lowry Main Street Dental, our excellent providers would be happy to talk with you about the cause of your bad breath and give you tips on resolving the issue. Remember, you are not alone. New patients can also get an exam, cleaning, and a set of x-rays for just $59! We hope to care for your oral health in the future.