FAQ About Bad Breath

woman learning about bad breathBad breath, also called halitosis, is one of the more difficult hygiene issues to hide, and everyone will experience it at some point. But, sometimes it seems like no matter what you do, the smell just never leaves. You avoid standing too close when talking to people, and it may even cause you to have low self-esteem issues. By learning more about bad breath and its causes, you can prevent uncomfortable social situations and be proactive about your oral health.

What causes bad breath?

Most causes of bad breath start in your mouth, and are commonly linked to poor hygiene. When you forget to brush and floss your teeth, bacterial growth can flourish and cause a bad odor. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, oral infections, and other problems that can also produce a foul smell in your mouth. Some medications contribute to bad breath by causing dry mouth, or through the release of chemicals in your body that escape when you exhale. In serious cases, certain diseases can cause bad smells to build up and become noticeable on your breath.

Why do certain food smells linger on my breath?

When you digest food, nutrients are absorbed into your bloodstream and travel around your body. After a meal containing pungent foods, like onion or garlic, the nutrients eventually reach your lungs and the smell is expelled every time your exhale. Because the smell is not just in your mouth anymore, it is near impossible to remove, and you must wait until the food is completely digested.

How should I treat my halitosis?

If you have chronic bad breath despite good oral hygiene, you should be examined by your doctor or dentist to check for serious problems. When there are no other health concerns, scrutinize your oral hygiene habits to see if there is room for improvement based on your dentist’s recommendations.


For over 15 years, Dr. Michelle Collier and the talented professionals at Waterstone Family Dentistry have provided comfortable, compassionate dental care to patients of all ages from Fuquay Varina, NC, as well as Holly Springs, Angier, Willow Springs, Raleigh, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to learn more, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Collier by calling (919) 557-5250 today.

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