What Causes Halitosis?

Perhaps the most frequent cause of visits to the dentist that are not emergency visits are ones where bad breath is concerned. You cannot ignore the fact that your mouth stinks, and most people are not going to ignore for you, either. It is a grave source of stress in social situations, not to mention that it can poison your private relationships as well. It is a serious problems, and it is more often than not a sign of deeper problems.

Oral halitosis

Some 90% of halitosis patients have a problem directly in the mouth. It is usually a question of teeth, gums and tongue, and more often than not, a combination of these constituents. This kind of halitosis is caused by bacteria in the mouth fermenting and decaying foodstuffs. It is actually the smell of rotting wastes, most of the time. Sometimes the actual smell of the decaying tooth is what is smelt, and this is also unpleasant. Very often people clean their teeth like crazy, but are still left with an unpleasant smell almost immediately after they do so. This is because the tongue is one of the greatest retainers of bacteria, as it is made out of porous tissue that has  a large surface and is always damp. Dentures, specifically acrylic dentures are also ideal places for bacteria to live in unnoticed, and cause the proliferation of bacteria which also ends up causing halitosis.    

Digestive problems

Another frequent cause of bad breath has to do with metabolic problems. Reflux causes the intestines to be open, and the smell of the metabolic process (the process in which nutrients are extracted from food by way of bacterial fermentation that results in fecal matter) escapes and is what causes the bad smells. A dentist will not be able to help you, and you may have to go on medication to combat the negative effects of reflux disease. Diabetes and other metabolic problems also cause halitosis, for different reasons, but all of these can be dealt with by non-dental means.



Especially pungent food like onions and garlic are well known to cause bad breath. If you eat these all the time, you will have bad breath all the time. Vinegar and bitter foods usually decay into nastier little bundles, causing a strong stench to arise. Hing and other pungent smelling foods usually break down into even more pungent compounds. Rinse your mouth out after you eat, and maybe even a brushing may be in order.    


Alcohol, smoking and the use of drugs (particularly uppers) will cause you to have acrid, nasty breath. Smoking is perhaps the worst, and causes characteristic smokers breath. The use of drugs that you take orally will also weaken your oral biome, causing a proliferation of bacteria that will raise up a stench.   


Xerostomia is the medical term for chronic mouth dryness. When your mouth is always dry, you will encounter more bacteria, as the saliva in your mouth serves not only to lubricate your gums (which incidentally makes them work better and makes them better at fighting off bacteria), but is also an antibacterial agent. Without it, bacteria can easily take hold of your mouth and start living in it. Certain medications can cause this as a side effect, as can the use of drugs, and snoring.

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