What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath is a common health issue, but it does have a stigma surrounding it. People are often embarrassed if they’re struggling with bad breath, but it’s more common than you may think! Bad breath can be caused by various factors, including bacteria, food, tobacco use, dental issues, and dry mouth. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into each of those issues and hopefully give you some tips on how you can solve your bad breath! 


Certain foods are so fragrant that the smell can linger on your breath long after you’ve finished eating. Onions, garlic, coffee, and anything spicy are some of the worst offenders. Solving bad breath caused by food can be as easy as brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, or chewing a piece of minty fresh gum. If you enjoy bad-breath-causing foods, try to keep these items readily available so you won’t feel self-conscious about your breath after a meal. 


Tobacco is notoriously terrible for your oral health. From tooth stains to gum disease and oral cancer, tobacco has a long list of harmful side effects. It’s no surprise that bad breath makes the list, too! The easiest solution for bad breath caused by tobacco use is to lead a tobacco-free lifestyle. Most local health departments offer free services, support groups, and nicotine alternatives for tobacco users looking to quit. 

Dental Issues 

Dental issues that cause bad breath can be as simple as an ill-fitting crown and as complex as advanced gum disease. For this reason, regular dental checkups are essential for identifying and correcting dental issues before they get worse. 

Dry Mouth 

Dry mouth is something that can be linked to tobacco, sleep apnea, and several other causes. Visit your dentist to identify the cause of your dry mouth and treat it effectively. Home remedies for dry mouth typically only mask the problem, not solve it. 


Did you know that diabetes can cause bad breath? It’s true! Bad breath can also be caused by tonsillitis, sinus infections, and respiratory infections. If all other causes of your bad breath have been ruled out, you may need to take a deeper look at your overall health. 

Managing Your Bad Breath 

Managing bad breath starts with healthy habits. Brush and floss twice a day. Visit your dentist once every six months. Most importantly, make an appointment if you notice a sudden occurrence of bad breath you can’t seem to shake!

Contact Gentle Dental Maine!

If you have any questions about bad breath solutions or general dentistry in Southern Maine, contact our team at Gentle Dental Maine! Our family dentists specialize in general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry services at each of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham. Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!