Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana explains some causes of bad breath.

If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: What causes bad breath? (bad breath series part 1)


Hi, I’m Dr. Austgen and today we’re going to talk about bad breath, also known as halitosis. Bad breath is one of those things that nobody wants to talk about but everybody’s worried about. It’s kind of a social taboo and it’s a cause of anxiety for many people.

The problem with bad breath is that it’s difficult to assess. Some people have it and don’t realize it. And other people don’t have but they are constantly obsessing that they do. That’s why there’s products on tons of store shelves claiming to take care of bad breath and help eliminate it. The problem with these products is they don’t treat the underlying cause.

So let’s talk about the things that cause bad breath. Most bad breath starts in your mouth but there are other possibilities such as infection from your nose and throat, certain medications or diseases and conditions such as acid reflux or diabetes.

We all know that certain foods such as onions and garlic, and even spices can cause bad breath. Those things enter our blood stream after digestion and they get carried to the lungs therefore affecting your breath. But food can also be broken down into small particles and they get in and around teeth and they cause an increase in bacteria that lead to foul odor.

The use of tobacco products can also cause bad breath. Smoking in and of itself causes an unpleasant odor in the mouth. But it can also lead to things such as gum disease.

Having poor oral hygiene can also affect the way your breath smells. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth properly, you can have those food particles remaining in the mouth that will promote bacterial growth and ultimately lead to bad breath.

Some people can also have dental disease such as decay or gum disease. When you have decay, that bacteria doesn’t just stay on that one tooth. It can spread to other areas of your mouth.

Another thing that you can have is something called dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. Our body naturally produces saliva that helps to self-cleanse our mouths. If we don’t have it, we’re unable to remove that plaque and food debris that tends to stick to the teeth and the gum tissues.

In part two of this video, we are going to discuss things you can do affecting your everyday lifestyle that will help eliminate bad breath.

This is Dr. Austgen from Southeast Family Dental.