We all wake up with morning breath or have a case of garlic breath after eating out at our favorite restaurant, but why does bad breath stay with you even after you brush your teeth? Bad breath is often fought off with mouthwash or a mint-flavored piece of gum. While these are temporary solutions, these breath fresheners don’t eliminate the main issue. Approximately 30% of the population claim to have some long-lasting bad breath, sometimes known as halitosis. Whether chronic or temporary, here are some possible causes of bad breath.

Oral Care Habits

If you are experiencing bad breath symptoms, it may be time to reevaluate your oral hygiene. Food particles from eating can cause plaque build-up on your teeth. However, your tongue and tonsils also store food particles. This plaque build-up throughout your mouth can cause bad breath and other oral health problems such as cavities and gum disease.

To help eliminate bad breath, brush your teeth two times per day. Brush both the outer and inner surfaces of your teeth. And don’t forget your tongue! Flossing every day will help eliminate food particles stuck between your teeth.

Your toothbrush can also be one of the most unexpected causes of bad breath. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months to prevent bacteria growth. The bristles also break down over time, so a new toothbrush will ensure you’re leaving your teeth squeaky clean.


Infections within the mouth or throat are also causes of bad breath. Infections may most likely occur due to tooth decay, mouth sores, or gum diseases.

An extraction is a quick and relatively painless way to remove tooth decay, prevent the spread of infection, and get you back to having fresh breath. Following an extraction, a dental implant can replace your missing tooth root and help restore chewing capabilities.

Mouth sores can be caused by a variety of things: allergies, certain foods, or illnesses. Ill-fitting dentures may also cause these painful sores. When suffering from sores, keeping up with regular dental visits is vital so your dentist can monitor your sores and help recommend treatments.

Finally, gum diseases are another cause of bad breath. The two most prominent gum diseases are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis may occur when plaque builds up underneath the gum line and causes irritation, producing foul smells. Periodontitis is a more severe form of gingivitis that can cause red, swollen, and bleeding gums. If you’re experiencing gum disease, you may also be at risk of tooth loss. Visit your dentist, who will give you thoughtful care and advice so that your gums stay healthy, your breath stays fresh, and your smile stays full.

Broken Teeth

Have a chipped or cracked tooth you’ve been meaning to get fixed? A broken tooth is one of the leading causes of bad breath or halitosis. Patients may brush their teeth regularly, rinse with mouthwash, and chew gum, yet still suffer. Why? Because food particles are more easily trapped in broken teeth. If these cracks aren’t filled, bad breath can worsen over time.

If you have a broken tooth, it is recommended that you seek repair right away to not only prevent bad breath but infection and further damage.

Dry Mouth

While we sleep through the night, many of us develop dry mouths. Usually, the smell from dry mouth subsides once we brush our teeth in the morning. If it doesn’t, there is a chance that you may have a salivary gland disorder. Sometimes certain medicines also cause dry mouth, so it’s important to know the side effects of what you are taking.

To combat a dry mouth, stay hydrated with water throughout the day, and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which have a habit of drying out your mouth.

Treatments for Bad Breath

While there are many causes of bad breath, there are just as many treatments out there!

  • Extractions to remove decaying teeth
  • Crowns or fillings to fix broken teeth
  • Brushing twice per day and flossing daily
  • Avoiding tobacco
  • Staying hydrated with water
  • Brush your tongue
  • Regularly wash your dentures, retainers, and mouthguards
  • Change your toothbrush

And, most importantly, maintain regular visits with your dentist or periodontist. They’ll keep an eye on your smile, pinpoint any early signs of tooth decay or gum disease, and help you find the best oral care products to keep your breath smelling fresh.

Prevent Bad Breath at Center Valley Dental

At Center Valley Dental, you can receive a thorough oral examination to help identify the cause of your bad breath. Our full-service dental practice has helped hundreds of patients across the Lehigh Valley smile with confidence.

Whether you need a simple cleaning or a dental crown, Center Valley Dental will be there every step of the way to help you eliminate your bad breath. Request an appointment today!