Bad Breath: Who, What, When, Where and Why

The ADVERBS of Bad Breath.

Let's face it, bad breath can be embarrassing. None of us want to have it. It is always awkward to "step back" and tell someone, or avoid close conversation. It is equally as awkward to be told, although we all would rather know, than to be avoided. This can cause self-esteem issues and strain relationships.

  • Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by not adequately brushing or flossing. Bacteria cause an odor as food is broken down and sulphur compounds are produced.
  • Dentures, mouthguards or retainers should be cleaned regularly and properly.
  • Sinus infection, bronchitis, or medical conditions can also cause bad breath.
  • Cryptic tonsils often have "tonsil stones", or tonsilloliths. Not true stones, but yellowish white collections of food, sinus drainage and bacteria that have gathered in the grooves of the tonsils. These are harmless, but have a pungent odor. These are often diagnosed during the oral exam at your periodic visit. On the odor scale, these would be a 10.
  • Saliva is reduced during sleep or even by some medications; "morning breath" can result. Biotene can be used to help with dry mouth caused by medications. Ask at your next visit.
  • Dieting can cause unfavorable breath as ketoacidosis from chemical breakdown can happen during fasting or elimination of some food groups.
  • Periodontal or gum disease is often associated with bacteria and infection that leads to persistent bad breath.
  • Habits of smoking, alcohol use, and drinking coffee, as well as the common onions and garlic consumption also cause unfavorable bad breath.
  • Continued halitosis can be an indicator of compromised health of kidneys, liver, or even diabetes. A dentist may suggest a visit with your physician, should there be no dental cause.
  • Decay in your teeth can also cause a stench. Do not put off your routine dental care.


  1. Put forth your best effort with hygiene care at home. Brush 2x2. Two minutes, twice a day:)
  2. Maintain regular visits with your dentist and hygienist.
  3. Drink more water.
  4. Brush and floss twice a day. Remember to always brush your tongue.
  5. Be good to yourself and others. Take time to "clear the air!"