The Top Causes Of Bad Breath


Bad breath is one thing that we all fear. Whether you’re going in for a job interview or your first day of classes, having bad breath is never a great way to make friends or gain social acceptance. Although simply brushing more often is a great way to start, it certainly isn’t the whole story. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the top causes of bad breath and what you can do about them. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a periodontist in Tukwila, contact your board-certified professionals here at Pacific Northwest Periodontics.


Possibly the biggest cause of bad breath is your diet. Sometimes, you can brush as rigorously and often as possible, but that’s not necessarily going to override the smelly foods you’ve been eating. Foods like onions, garlic, and other pungent things tend to linger in your mouth much longer than you prefer. If you want to avoid having bad breath throughout the day, try avoiding these foods until after you get back from school or work.

Dry Mouth

Believe it or not, your saliva contains healthy bacteria that help to eliminate and keep bad odors at bay. However, if your mouth lacks saliva and you have dry mouth, you’re probably going to have bad breath, even if you haven’t eaten anything recently. If your mouth is feeling especially dry, try increasing your water intake. This won’t help immediately, but after some time, you’ll notice your mouth feels less dry and the foul odor is gone!

Poor Oral Hygiene

Everyone knows that brushing your teeth will keep your mouth smelling and feeling fresh, but what about flossing? Flossing does a great job of removing bacteria and food particles from in between the teeth that can result in an awful smell. Be sure to floss immediately after brushing for the ultimate bad breath fighting technique. Most dentists recommend brushing twice daily to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, however, if you want to prevent bad breath, we recommend brushing after every meal.

Oral Diseases

Oral health conditions such as gum disease, gingivitis, tooth decay, cavities, and periodontal disease can all contribute to bad breath. Occasionally, old fillings may wear out, leading bacteria to accumulate and re-infect the tooth. If your gums feel puffy, sore, swollen, or they look red or bleed, you most likely have gum disease which can range from mild to severe. Although this will cause you to have bad breath, a bigger concern is the condition of your gums and their supporting structures. If you’re exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact your local periodontist for an appointment.


Alcohol and cigarettes are two major contributors to bad breath. Not only that, but people who smoke are much more likely to develop serious oral health issues. According to a study done by the Journal of Dental Research, people who smoke are about three times as likely to lose a tooth due to tooth decay or periodontal disease. So, not only does smoking itself cause bad breath, but it can result in conditions that will further contribute to bad breath.

Contact Pacific Northwest Periodontics

Although bad breath could just be a sign you haven’t brushed today, it could also be a sign of a more serious issue. If you’re concerned that you may have bad breath due to gingivitis or periodontal disease, schedule an appointment with our Seattle periodontists today. Our board-certified technicians will search for any signs of oral disease or infection and lay out a plan that’s best for you. Give us a call today.