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Causes of Oral Odor

Posted on 11/21/2022 by Office
Causes of Oral OdorOral odor, also known as halitosis, can be frustrating and embarrassing. Eating some foods and poor dental habits are the leading causes of bad breath. You can improve your smell by adopting good dental practices. However, if the methods are inadequate, you need to visit your dentist to find out the bad breath's real cause.

Your Diet

The food you eat can largely contribute to your breath. Digestion of the food particles can increase harmful bacteria accumulation in your teeth and lead to a bad smell. Eating onions, spicy foods, or garlic will contribute to an odor.

Poor Dental Practices

Another leading cause of oral odor is poor dental hygiene. If you fail to floss and brush your teeth, food particles will accumulate in your mouth and cause bad breath. With time a plaque will form on your teeth, and if not properly brushed or flossed away, it will lead to odor. Your tongue can also have bacteria that produce a very offensive smell. When brushing, it is also best to brush your tongue.


Certain medications can also lead to the production of bad breath. Medications are broken down in your body and will release a chemical that will produce an odor.

Oral Infections

Infection in your mouth or other parts of your throat can cause bad breath. Tooth cavities or oral ulcers can emit very unpleasant smells. Additionally, if you have crowns or dentures that don't fit well, they can encourage the trapping of food in those gaps. Old food and accumulated bacteria will produce rotten smells.


Smoking can also cause halitosis. Frequent smoking causes a stale scent as it leaves various compounds in the mouth that will mix with saliva and lead to mouth odor. It can also lead to gum diseases which will further make halitosis worse. If you must smoke, ensure that you properly brush your teeth.

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Robin Reich, DDS | Stacey Wingad, DMD | Megan Reich Rihan, DMD
Andrea Vita, DMD

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