Preventing Bad Breath

advice to prevent bad breath from a chicago dentistBad breath is a common problem. It usually occurs after eating certain foods. The odor generally dissipates after digestion and/or tooth brushing. Bad-smelling breath that is chronic and not related to the type of foods eaten is a condition called halitosis. There are a number of other things that can cause bad breath.

Common Causes of Bad Breath


A condition of chronic bad breath that is most commonly caused by a bacteria buildup below the gum line and on the back of the tongue. In rare conditions halitosis is a sign of a serious underlying medical issue, but in the majority of cases changes to your dental care regiment will clear it up.


Food particles left behind in your mouth after eating can increase the bacteria in your mouth and cause bad breath.

Tobacco products

The use of tobacco can cause chronic problems with mouth odor. Tobacco use can also affect the health of teeth and gums, which can contribute to unpleasant mouth odors.

Chronic dry mouth

Dryness of the mouth tissues can also cause mouth odors. This is why people have “morning breath,” that unpleasant smell and sensation that occurs after a night’s worth of breathing during sleep without moisturizing mouth tissues.

Tooth problems

Chronic halitosis can also be caused by ongoing dental problems such as cavities, gum disease or gaps in the teeth that trap food. Your dentist can find and treat these problems to help improve your breath. Scrupulous dental hygiene that includes regular tooth brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist can prevent bad breath.

Nose and throat conditions

Chronic infections in the nose, sinuses and throat can cause mouth odors that may be unpleasant. Your physician will be able to diagnose and treat these infections with antibiotics or other methods.


A number of medications alter the chemistry of the body and can result in mouth odor problems. If you take medications on a regular basis and are concerned about mouth halitosis, talk to your physician about ways to help this issue.

Metabolic conditions

Some metabolic disorders and other illnesses, like cancer, can cause changes in the body that result in unpleasant breath because of the chemical they produce in the body.

Stomach problems

Reflex of stomach acids or foreign bodies in the nose, throat or stomach can be the source of odor problems in the mouth. A careful examination by a physician can help to resolve these issues.

Solutions for Breath Problems

Proper oral hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene goes a far way to prevent bad breath. Brush multiple times per day, including after each meal and make sure to floss daily.

Schedule regular dentist appointments

See your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning; they’ll also be able to spot potential causes of bad breath and take care of the issues.


Drinking lots of water, instead of sugary drinks, will help keep your mouth hydrated and helps wash away food particles and bacteria.


There are a number of products on the market that will provide temporary relief for bad breath, but do not fix the underlying problems. Antiseptic mouthwashes kill germs that cause bad breath, so are worth adding to your daily regiment. Gums and mints that contain xylitol will provide temporary relief when you are in a pinch.

We Can Help

If you are concerned about your breath we’re here to help! Schedule a dentist appointment to prevent bad breath with one of our doctors and we’ll help get to the root of your problem.

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