Bad Breath Causes and Treatments By Patrick Casey on September 03, 2014

A blonde woman sipping tea and smilingBad breath is a condition that no one wants to be caught with. Bad breath can be embarrassing, especially if it’s a chronic condition. Fortunately, most cases of bad breath are treatable. But first, it is important to understand the causes of bad breath, particularly the source of your bad breath. Pinpointing the cause of bad breath allows dentists to recommend the appropriate course of treatment, whether it is restorative dentistry care to improve the health of the teeth and gums, or an improved at-home oral hygiene routine. At Smile Montreal, Drs. Charles and Patrick Casey can determine the cause of your bad breath and recommend treatment options.

Certain Foods

One of the most common causes of bad breath is the consumption of odorous foods such as onion or garlic. These foods release sulfur-containing gas, which can lead to bad breath. Raw garlic and onion tend to produce the most odorous breath.

Treatment options: Avoid eating garlic and onions when you will be in close contact with others. If you have eaten these foods, brush you teeth and rinse the mouth out with water after consumption. If bad breath persists, know that it should go away within a few hours to a day.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. This plaque and tartar can also emit a foul odor. To reduce the risk of tooth decay and limit bad breath, the teeth should be cleaned thoroughly, daily.

Treatment options: Brush the teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit the dentist every six months for check-ups. If tooth decay is identified during a routine visit, the affected tooth should be cleaned and filled with a durable dental material.

Gum Disease

Like tooth decay, gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar along the gum line. One of the first symptoms of gingivitis and gum disease is persistent bad breath.

Treatment options: Patients should practice a good at-home oral health care regimen. If gum disease is present, patients may need to undergo a deep cleaning procedure called root planning and scaling. Antibiotic fibers may be placed in the gums during this cleaning.

Poor Oral Hygiene Habits

Poor oral hygiene habits allow plaque and tartar to accumulate on the teeth and gums. When this plaque and tartar is allowed to remain in the mouth, it can result in chronic bad breath.

Treatment options: Follow the American Dental Association’s oral care guidelines of brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing the dentist every six months.


Smoking cigarettes can affect the breath. Known as smoker’s breath, this condition can be a turn off to others.

Treatment options: Quit smoking. If you do smoke, rinse the mouth out with water after each cigarette, and, if possible, brush the teeth after each cigarette.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition in which the mouth does not produce enough saliva to wash away food particles and plaque. This condition may be caused by the use of certain medication, or by certain medical conditions.

Treatment options: If a specific medication is causing dry mouth, ask your doctor if there are any suitable alternatives. Seek treatment for any medical conditions that may be causing dry mouth. If dry mouth persists, rinse the mouth out regularly with water, and consider the use of artificial saliva.

To schedule your next dental appointment, contact Smile Montreal today.

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Dr. Charles Casey & Dr. Patrick Casey

Smile Montreal

Our team of dental professionals is focused on patient care and comfort. Our dentists use the latest techniques and innovative technologies to provide fast and efficient treatment. Dr. Patrick Casey is a member of a number of international associations, including:
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologists
  • Academy of Laser Dentistry
  • International Academy of Orthodontics
Contact us or call (514) 937-6558 to schedule an appointment.

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