Surprising Causes of Bad Breath

Most people are familiar with the foul smell of morning breath, but aren’t sure why it occurs. They might also be confused if their bad breath continues throughout the day, even when they haven’t eaten anything strong, like garlic or onions. While sugarless gum and fresh-smelling mints can temporarily improve your bad breath, they won’t solve the problem that causes it. Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, can indicate a number of different underlying issues, some of which you might not have considered until now.

Malicious Little Microbes

The plaque that accumulates on your teeth and gums is a protective film that contains hundreds of different kinds of bacteria. Brushing and flossing every day helps remove the film and germs before they can lead to cavities or gum disease, but the bacteria responsible for bad breath tend to hang out more on the surfaces of your tongue. Use your toothbrush or tongue-scraper to clean your tongue when brushing your teeth to reduce the risk of chronic halitosis.


Oral bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they thrive in oxygen-less environments, like within the confines of dental plaque. When you’re dehydrated, your mouth doesn’t produce as much saliva (which contains over 99% water), and mouth germs can flourish. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body and mouth supplied with sufficient moisture.

Infected Respirations

Oral-systemic health refers to the connection between your oral health and your systemic wellbeing. One facet of this connection is the relationship between overwhelming oral bacteria and respiratory tract infections (RTIs). Conditions like acute bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occur when bacteria are inhaled into the lower respiratory tract. RTIs can break down tissue and cause an increased flow of mucus that can persistently taint your breath.

Skipping the Most Important Meal

When was the last time you sat down to eat breakfast before starting your day? During the night, while you sleep, your saliva flow naturally dries up, and the increased bacterial population can make your breath smell odd in the morning (hence, morning breath). By eating breakfast in the morning before brushing your teeth, you can give your saliva production a boost, increasing your toothbrush’s ability to remove bacteria and plaque.

About Your Southlake Dentists:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.