Bad Breath: What’s Causing It and How to Get Rid of It

This condition relentlessly strikes people of all ages during all hours of the day. When it becomes imperishable and inconsolable, it can wreck confidence and social life. You can’t cover or hide from its menace.

Bad breath can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for yourself and those around you. Even after swallowing handfuls of breath mints and brushing your teeth day and night, you can’t escape the lingering burden of stinky breath. Continue reading to discover the root cause of your bad breath and how to finally address it for good.

3 Causes of Bad Breath

Persistent halitosis, or bad breath, undertakes half of the population. Malodor can be caused by a single cause or a combination of factors.

  1. Inconsistent, Inadequate Oral Hygiene

Erratic, poor dental habits can lead to bacteria overgrowth. Oral bacteria ooze byproducts that cause a sulfurous stench. 

This accumulation of bacteria forms plaque, which calcifies over time to form tartar. This cycle of build-up can lead to gingivitis and cavities. 

Gum disease and cavities don’t go away on their own. Professional dental cleanings at least twice a year can help manage signs of periodontal disease and tooth decay.

  1. Dry Mouth

Saliva rinses bad bacteria away from the mouth. A decrease in saliva increases the livelihood of odor-causing bacteria. Drinking plenty of water can hydrate the entire body, including the oral cavity, and diminish bad breath. 

  1. Diet

Pungent foods, like pickled products and alliums (onions and garlic), famously cause temporary bad breath. However, diets high in sugar and acid can generate persistent bad breath. Ketogenic diets can also be the root cause of halitosis.

Bacteria flourish off high-sugar and acidic diets. An acidic diet can also cause acid reflux. When left untreated, this surplus and concentration of bacteria can lead to halitosis.

“Keto breath” is a common complaint from followers of the ketogenic diet and is produced by a surge of acetones in the body.

A few dietary tweaks can help reduce the effects of bad breath. Switching to “low sugar” treats with the ingredient xylitol and drinking more water can combat bad breath from high-sugar and keto diets. If you are dealing with acid reflux, talk to your general physician for an antacid medication to lessen the regurgitation of acid in the mouth.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

When other methods continue to fail, professional teeth cleaning paired with a consistent home routine can solve bad breath permanently. Dr. Peabody practices deep cleaning through scaling and planing the oral cavity to relieve the mouth of malodor. In this procedure, Dr. Peabody will: 

  1. Utilize an upscale, comfortable Cavitron system to scale the teeth. A Cavitron ultrasonically and gently eliminates bacteria and film around the teeth and under the gum.
  2. Mist the mouth and tongue with a numbing agent to increase pleasantness. 
  3. Spray with a disinfecting agent to kill bacteria.
  4. Scrape the tongue with a tongue scraper to shed all traces of bad breath-causing bacteria.
  5. Spritz with a high-pressure antibiotic spray to discourage new bacteria from forming.

Continue care at home for the best results in eliminating bad breath. In addition to twice-daily brushing and flossing, rinse the mouth out with a prescribed mouthwash and apply a tongue scraper to remove malodor-causing bacteria.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have additional questions about what provokes bad breath and how to treat it, schedule a consultation and oral exam with Dr. Peabody in Santa Cruz, CA. Call 831-457-0343 or message us online today.

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From Dr. Peabody

I love being a dentist, and for 33 years I have tremendously enjoyed providing dental care for you as well as the relationships we’ve formed.  I have decided to retire from the private practice of dentistry so that I can spend more time with my family.

I have interviewed several quality dentists, and I am delighted that I found an outstanding dentist that I know will fit my current patients and the community of Santa Cruz.

With sincere confidence, I am happy to introduce Dr. Martha Catalina Payne. (Dr. Cat)

Please visit her website:
to learn more about her and schedule your next appointment with her.

I will work closely with Dr. Cat in this transition so she has a thorough understanding of each patient’s dental needs.

I am confident that you will enjoy Dr. Cat as much as I have enjoyed getting to know her. The team is also quite impressed with her, and you will continue to see them at your reserved dental care visits.

Dr. Guy Peabody DDS