Common Causes of Bad Breath

Bad Breath

At one point or another, we have all had to deal with the dreadful effects of bad breath. There are many causes of bad breath, medically known as halitosis, and while some of them are not serious, others can be cause for concern.

As your trusted western Denver dental office, we here at Johnson Dental strive to educate our patients whenever possible with meaningful dental advice. Since bad breath is a common problem that we have all had to face at some point in our lives, we thought we would explain the common causes of bad breath.

Poor Oral Hygiene

One of the most common reasons we develop bad breath is when we forget to brush and floss our teeth. Proper oral hygiene can make all the difference when it comes to our breath smelling pleasant. Brushing your tongue helps eliminate any further bad breath bacteria that is left behind.  The tongue harbors the majority of bad breath bacteria in the mouth, so don’t forget to give it some attention every day.

Of course, if you notice your breath during the day, there are other options to help treat the issue until you get home. Sugar-free gum, for example, is effective at eliminating bacteria and can even help strengthen the enamel on your teeth.

Food Factors

There are a number of foods that can cause our breath to smell bad. Some of them you may be familiar with and others could catch you by surprise. Regardless, you should always brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after every meal to prevent halitosis. Here are some of the foods that can cause bad breath:


  • Onions: Onions are a food that you would expect to cause your breath to stink. The sulfur compounds in onions can linger in your mouth, causing bad breath.
  • Garlic: Similar to onions, garlic has sulfur compounds that can linger in your mouth for hours after you’ve eaten. Be sure to brush your mouth after you have had even a little bit of garlic.
  • Coffee: Coffee breath can be an offensive odor. However, cutting sugar and cream out of your coffee diet can help lessen the stench associated with our favorite morning beverage.


While the occasional day of bad breath isn’t a huge problem and can be resolved by brushing your teeth, sometimes it can be a warning sign or something more serious. For example, persistent halitosis can be a symptom of liver failure. In fact, there are a number of health issues that can cause your breath to smell bad. Here are a few other systemic diseases that bad breath can be a warning sign of:

  • Kidney failure
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Diabetes

If you suffer from chronic bad breath, we are here to help. You can contact our Wheat Ridge dental office here or call us at 303.422.8748 to schedule an appointment today!