Why Does My Breath Smell? Uncovering the Secrets of Halitosis

March 1, 2023
Request an Appointment

Bad breath, also referred to as halitosis, is a common problem that can affect anyone. This condition can be embarrassing and impact your confidence, making you shy away from social interactions. But why does your breath smell, and how can you kiss this problem goodbye? A general dentist in Issaquah explores halitosis's secrets and provides practical tips for keeping your breath fresh.

woman smelling her breath needs to see a  General Dentist in Issaquah

What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?

Certain Foods and Drinks  

Do you love to indulge in spicy and flavorful foods like garlic and onions? Unfortunately, these delicious treats are one of the main culprits behind bad breath. The foul odors in these meals go straight into your bloodstream and eventually reach your lungs, getting out when you breathe. Some smelly food also gets trapped between your teeth, contributing to your bad breath problem. If you don't want to suffer from halitosis, steer clear of these problematic foods and beverages:

  • Coffee
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Fish

Poor Oral Hygiene  

In addition to regularly eating certain foods and drinks, neglecting your oral hygiene routine can result in bad breath. When you don't follow a proper at-home oral care routine, you give plaque a chance to form around your teeth and gums and cause damage.  

Over time, not only does accumulated bacteria lead to halitosis, but plaque can also produce a severe infection that worsens your bad breath problem. 

Health Conditions  

Did you know that bad breath is a common symptom of problems like gum disease and tooth decay?

These conditions can create pockets around your gums, allowing bacteria to thrive and produce foul odors.  

Sinus infections or liver and kidney problems can also be sources of bad breath. If your bad breath persists even after brushing your teeth, it's best to consult a general dentist or healthcare provider to rule out any underlying health problems.


Finally, antidepressants, high blood pressure medication, and other drugs might improve your health but make your mouth dry and your breath stink. When you suffer from xerostomia or mouth dryness, you don't produce enough saliva to wash away bacteria and smelly food particles.  

This condition gives bacteria more leeway to build up and produce foul odors, forcing you to cover your mouth and brush your teeth more frequently.  

Tips to Have Fresh Breath in the Future

There are a few things you can do to keep your breath smelling clean and minty:

Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, and floss afterward. You can also rinse using mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.

Watch What You Eat

Avoid sugary and processed foods, which can feed bacteria in your mouth. Choose crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, which help to scrape plaque off your teeth and stimulate saliva production.

Quit Smoking

Nicotine and tar in cigarettes cause bad breath and yellow teeth, as well as increase your chances of suffering from oral cancer. If you're a smoker, quitting or reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke is the best way to freshen your breath.

 General Dentist in Issaquah performing dental exam on patient

General Dentist Issaquah

Do You Need to See a General Dentist in Issaquah to Tackle Your Bad Breath?  

Bad breath can result from various factors, from the food you eat to underlying health conditions. By following good oral hygiene practices and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can keep your breath smelling fresh and avoid the embarrassment of halitosis. If you're experiencing persistent bad breath, consult one of our dental professionals for further evaluation and treatment. Contact us today!

Everything you need for an amazing smile

The APEX Dental Care team can’t wait to see you!

Request an Appointment