Halitosis, or bad breath, may be caused by a buildup of odor-producing bacteria on the tongue, gums, or cheeks. These bacteria break down proteins in the mouth and form sulfur compounds. These compounds smell bad.

The smell from sulfur compounds is similar to that of rotten eggs. It’s often worse in the morning, after not brushing your teeth. If you notice a persistent bad taste in your mouth or a metallic or garlic-like smell, you might have halitosis. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to get it checked out.

Halitosis can be caused by due to numerous reasons, such as

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure pills, and diuretics. Dry mouth can also be caused by certain autoimmune diseases, including lupus and diabetes. Mouth breathing and dehydration are also common causes of dry mouth.

When you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth, you experience a number of issues. In addition to bad breath, dry mouth can cause cavities and mouth sores to develop. Without saliva to wash away food and bacteria, your risk of tooth decay and gum disease is greatly increased.


Smoking can actually cause bad breath. The smoke can get trapped in your mouth and lungs. This can cause dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath.

Also, the chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause bad breath. The chemicals can cause inflammation in the mouth, which can lead to gum disease. Tooth loss can also cause bad breath.


Saliva is necessary for the health of your teeth and gums. It can help wash away leftover food particles from the mouth, neutralizes acid, and fights against harmful bacteria.

Saliva can even help heal mouth sores or ulcers. If you have chronic bad breath, it’s important to talk to your dentist about your medications. Some medications can dry out the mouth, which can increase your risk of developing cavities or gum disease.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the gums. It results in inflammation, which can progress to affect the bone that supports the teeth.

If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. The most common cause of gum disease is plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the surface of the teeth. If plaque isn’t removed, it hardens to become calculus or tartar.

Unclean Tongue

Your tongue is a huge part of your mouth. It’s one of the first things people notice about you. If your tongue has a coating, it can trap food and bacteria, causing your breath to smell bad. Smoking and tobacco use can also make your tongue feel rough. If you brush your tongue every day, you’ll be able to keep it clean.


Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (503) 581-2446 to consult with our dentist, Dr. Giruc, and we will be happy to assist you further.

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