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What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath can be embarrassing and leave us ashamed to smile, talk and laugh. There are many causes of bad breath, however, poor dental hygiene or the onset of gum disease are usually the main culprits.

It can be difficult to identify that you have bad breath, especially as people are usually too polite to tell you. If you’ve noticed a white coating on the back of your tongue, have an unusually dry mouth despite drinking plenty, have a bad/metallic taste in your mouth or have thick saliva then these are common signs that you have bad breath caused by underlying issues.

Common Causes Of Bad Breath

Not brushing & flossing twice per day

Dental hygiene is crucial to ensuring not only your oral health is maintained but also your overall health, as poor dental hygiene can cause serious health issues if left untreated. By skipping brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once per day, food particles will remain in your mouth and between your teeth – causing irritation and bad odour.

Don’t forget your tongue too! Make it part of your dental hygiene routine to brush your tongue to ensure no bacteria is left behind as your tongue is prone to harbour bad smells.

Gum disease

Constant bad breath is usually a warning sign of gum disease and should not be ignored. Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque and food residue that infects the gums and causes them to bleed, and in worst cases, causes tooth loss. Find out how gum disease can be prevented.


Whether you are a heavy smoker or occasional smoker, you will likely have smokers breath due to the chemicals found in tobacco. Oftentimes you won’t be able to tell that you have smokers breath as smoking actually decreases your sensitivity to scent and taste.

Bad breath is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the negative side-effects of smoking. We always recommend trying to quit for your overall wellbeing and health, and if not quit altogether, then swap to an electronic cigarette instead.

Other medical conditions

Bad breath isn’t always caused by your teeth, it can sometimes be caused by other issues in your mouth, nose or throat. For example, when you have bad breath it could be due to small pockets of food getting stuck in your tonsils that are starting to produce a foul odour. Alternatively, your bad breath could be caused by tonsillitis – an infection of the tonsils which cause them to swell and make it painful to swallow.

Afraid you have bad breath linked to one of the above issues? Book an appointment with one of our dentists for a checkup so we can identify any oral health issues before they advance into something more serious!

Get in touch with us today on 01827 664 35