Hamilton Dental Group

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

A very common dental concern among the general public is bad breath, also known as halitosis. This often embarrassing condition can cause anxiety in social settings and can sometimes even put strains on relationships. The good news is that bad breath is usually treatable, but can sometimes be caused by a more difficult underlying problem.

Often the cause of bad breath is some form of bacteria on your tongue. Did you brush your teeth when you woke up this morning? Did you floss? Did you eat extra onions on that burger at lunch or a garlic dish at dinner? Inadequate dental hygiene and odor causing foods are the most common and easiest to solve causes of bad breath.

In addition to incomplete hygiene and odorous foods, there are other treatable causes of bad breath that take a little more than just brushing your teeth to treat. These would include:

  • Periodontal or gum disease: Periodontal disease begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and below your gumline. If not properly treated through a deep cleaning called scaling and root planning, you can face not only bad breath but also bone and tooth loss.
  • Tooth decay: Cavities are the destruction of your tooth, caused by bacteria and acids left in your mouth from foods and drinks. The longer these bacteria and acids are in contact with your teeth, the higher the risk of a cavity forming. These cavities and the bacteria in your mouth can cause your fresh breath to turn into bad breath. However, cavities can be treated by a qualified dentist and your breath can be clean again!
  • Use of tobacco products: Tobacco products – cigarettes, chew, or even vaping – all cause bad breath and lead to much more serious oral health issues. Apart from the foul smell, tobacco products damage the gum tissue, can cause gum disease, and increases your risk of oral and other cancers.
  • Sinus or respiratory infection: Respiratory infections and inflammation of the sinuses, lungs or throat can lead to bad breath, especially when there is draining of mucus in the mouth and nose area. This is why people who have colds or the flu often have undesirable breath.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva helps keep your mouth clean by removing pieces of food that could then can lead to bad breath. When your body slows down or completely stops the production of saliva, you develop dry mouth (also known as xerostomia). This happens naturally while you sleep – which is where morning breath comes from – but can also be caused by medications.
  • Medications: Prescription medicines can accidenty contribute to dry mouth, which can cause bad breath. Some medications are broken down in the body and release chemicals that are then carried in your bloodstream to your breath. Any extended period of time with dry mouth can cause discomfort and lead to bad breath.
  • Medical conditions: In less common occurrences, bad breath can be caused by more serious medical conditions such as diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease.

The good news is that there are ways to treat and cope with bad breath! The first stop is to make an appointment to come see Dr Fattahi. He will diagnose where the cause is coming from and go over a plan to resolve the problem. In the end, leaving you with fresh breath and overall better oral health!

If you or a loved one is experiencing bad breath, give us a call at 513-868-0669 to schedule an appointment. Because, nobody wants to be the one with bad breath!


Many times bad breath is caused by the bacteria in the mouth and on the tongue. Sometimes it can be an indication of gum disease. Either way, your first stop to address persistent breath problems should be our office, because if gum disease is present, it must be treated promptly to avoid tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults!

Possible causes for halitosis are:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Periodontal (Gum) Disease
  • Inadequate Oral Hygiene (not brushing and flossing)
  • Odor-causing foods
  • Use of Tobacco Products
  • Sinus or Respiratory Infection
  • Continued Mouth Dryness (Xerostomia)
  • Some Medical Disorders
  • Some Medications

Dr. Fattahi can help you determine the cause, and if the cause is an oral condition, a treatment plan can be developed to combat this common source of embarrassment.

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