4 Factors That Contribute To Bad Breath & How You Can Fix It

4 Factors That Contribute To Bad Breath & How You Can Fix It

Bad breath is something all of us want to avoid. However, it can happen at the most unexpected time. Whether it is meeting up with friends, during a first date, or before a job interview, bad breath can make us self-conscious even when we are most confident about our perfect smile. All in all, bad breath can affect us significantly.

If you worry about having bad breath, Big Smile Dental Clinic wants to help you figure out the underlying cause and offer you tips on getting rid of it. After all, bad breath is often a direct indication of your current oral health. And when it comes to everything about your mouth, Big Smile Dental Clinic is all about helping you achieve a healthier smile that you can be confident about.

What is bad breath?

First off, we would like to assure you that you are not alone if you have bad breath. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common oral condition. It can be caused by several factors. Often, what we consume might have caused bad breath, for example, foods  such as onion or garlic. Bad breath can also be caused by other diet and lifestyle habits. If it happens persistently, it can be an indication of an underlying medical or oral disorder.

Nevertheless, here are 4 factors that contribute to bad breath.

1. Food and drink

As much as foods, such as petai, onions and garlic, help to add flavour to your dish, they contribute to bad breath, both straight after you finish your meal and sometimes even for a couple of days. Bacteria thrive in acidic environments. Hence, even if citrus foods are packed with vitamin C and taste great, they can raise the acidity in your mouth, creating an optimal environment for harmful bacteria, which creates bad breath as they metabolise sugar and other substrates. Excessive consumption of protein plays a part, too. When our body breaks down protein, ammonia is produced as a by-product, resulting in an unpleasant smell when we breathe out.

Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, can affect our health too. They can also cause bad breath due to the bacteria in our mouth reacting with the amino acids found in dairy products. Coffee and alcohol dries out the mouth, creating a more favourable, acidic environment for the bacteria to thrive, leading to bad breath.

2. Lifestyle habits

Smoking cigars and cigarettes is one of the leading lifestyle habits that causes bad breath. Similar to coffee and alcohol, tobacco dries out the mouth, creating an ideal environment for oral bacteria to thrive. Additionally, it also irritates the gum tissues. Hence, gum disease is quite common among smokers, and it is another cause of bad breath.

3. Medications

Certain prescription medications can cause dry mouth as a side effect. You will also find that certain medications, when broken down in the body, release certain chemicals into the bloodstream, affecting how the breath smells when one exhales. Such medications may include certain chemotherapy medications and nitrate medications for angina.

4. Medical conditions

Some medical conditions, such as chronic acid reflux, gastrointestinal disorders, blood disorders, kidney and liver disease, diabetes, tonsil and respiratory infections, chronic post nasal drip and sinus issues, can lead to the development of bad breath.

Chronic mouth breathing is not often described as a medical condition, but if you normally breathe through your mouth instead of your nose, you could end up with chronic bad breath. Mouth breathing leads to dry mouth, which leads to bad breath because there is an inadequate amount of saliva to wash away odours from bacteria and food debris in the mouth.

Additionally, chronic mouth breathing can also affect the jaw alignment, pulling the  jaw into a bad bite. Fortunately, orthodontic treatment, like invisible braces, can correct this misalignment.

How to fix bad breath?

Temporary solutions, such as sugar-free mints or gums, are the way to go for a quick and instant fix. One tip when looking for such fixes is to look for mints and gums that are sweetened with xylitol. They are sweeteners that do not encourage bacteria growth. Consuming mints and gums also promotes saliva production, which can help to rinse your mouth and balance the pH in your mouth. However, gum is a big no if you are undergoing braces treatment.

We also highly recommend you rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking. Also, be sure to stay hydrated. However, all these are only temporary solutions that offer instant relief from bad breath. If we are talking about long-term solutions, it goes without saying that observing good dental hygiene is the way to go. Well-observed dental hygiene prevents the growth of bacteria that cause gum disease, tooth decay, and plaque proliferation – all significant contributors to bad breath.


Here at Big Smile Dental Clinic, we consult experts in achieving beautiful, straight smiles that are healthy, too! We have got you covered, from questions about general dental services to orthodontic solutions. No matter the cause of your bad breath, we are able to help manage the underlying cause and more. We will also educate you on how to maintain optimal dental habits to stay free of bad breath. Contact us today to make an appointment!