5 Factors That Trigger Bad Breath

5 Factors That Trigger Bad Breath

You need to be proactive about your oral health to keep your smile beautiful and avoid bad breath. This condition is common, but it's easily fixed with proper dental care and hygiene. Here are a few factors that trigger bad breath, as well as ways you can improve it. 

What Causes Bad Breath?

1. Bacteria Buildup

There are several grooves and crevices in your mouth, especially along the back of your tongue. They provide the perfect breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria, which contribute to bad breath. 

Regular dental care removes these germs and keeps your mouth feeling—and smelling—its best. Always brush twice a day for two minutes each time, and use a mild mouthwash. Target the tongue, especially the back of the tongue, when brushing, and drink plenty of water to help wash away hard-to-reach bacteria. Floss once a day to get rid of hard-to-reach residue.

2. Certain Foods 

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While adding garlic and onion to your food is a great way to enhance flavor, these ingredients often result in bad breath. This is because of the sulfur compounds in these vegetables. They're released when you chew, which explains the lingering odor.

After eating these types of foods, brush and floss to eliminate remaining particles that contribute to bad breath. Garlic can stay in your system for up to two days, so you may need to continue masking the smell with gum or mints.

3. Plaque Accumulation

Plaque is a specific type of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums. Over time, it calcifies and becomes difficult to remove by brushing alone. The greater the buildup, the more likely bad breath is to occur. While mouthwash is a temporary solution, preventative dental care is the best option. Regular dental cleanings can reduce the amount of plaque on the teeth, eliminating odors caused by plaque residue and keeping your enamel in good condition. 

4. Medical Conditions

If you experience unexplained bad breath and can't seem to address it, consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist. Certain medical conditions can cause halitosis, and the only way to improve it is to treat the underlying cause. This, and proper dental care, will help you mitigate bad breath and keep you feeling confident. 

5. Dry Mouth

The saliva in your mouth aids in digestion, but it also keeps odor-causing bacteria at bay. When you suffer from dry mouth or dehydration, the bacteria thrive, which can lead to foul-smelling breath. This condition is often caused by prescription medication. Consider talking to your doctor about switching medications. They may also recommend lozenges and drinking plenty of water. Chewing gum can also trigger salivary glands to help banish odors.


If you're struggling with bad breath, turn to the dentists at Hulse Dental in Onalaska, WI. Their team has been providing residents around the Coulee region with preventative dental care and treatment for over 25 years. They offer everything for your family from routine exams to Invisalign to dental implants, all in a welcoming environment. Visit their website to learn more, or call (608) 783-1306 to make an appointment.

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