Bad Breath and How to Prevent It

Attractive man checking and smelling his bad breath.

How to Prevent Bad Breath

Do you ever notice a foul smell coming from your mouth? If you have, it’s likely that others around you have noticed as well. Perhaps you’ve tried mouth rinses or mint flavored gums but haven’t had much success eliminating the odor. Halitosis, also known as chronic bad breath, has three major causes – diet, oral issues, and medical conditions. Knowing what is causing your bad breath can help to quickly eliminate the smell. 


About 80% of bad breath is caused by bacteria build up, most often in places where a toothbrush can’t reach. Plaque bacteria are tiny microorganisms that live on tooth surfaces, in the spaces in between the teeth, and on the tongue. When the bacterias digest food particles they not only become stronger, but they also emit poor-smelling gases. Oral issues like untreated periodontal disease is a major cause of bad breath in adults over the age of 30. 

Alternatively, prescription and over-the-counter medications may cause dry mouth that leads to bad breath. Dry mouth occurs when salivary glands do not produce the usual amount of saliva, therefore creating a dry environment where bacteria can persist in. Some underlying medical issues, such as acid reflux and tonsil stones, can also cause very bad breath.


A key point in preventing most cases of bad breath is ensuring bacteria is removed – this can be accomplished with a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth for 2 minutes 2 times a day can help eliminate bacteria, but most people also forget to brush their tongues (a great place for bacteria to thrive in). After brushing your teeth, gently brush the surface of your tongue starting from the back and working your way to the front. Incorporating healthy foods into your diet, such as apples, carrots, or celery, can also help prevent bad breath. In the same way chewing sugar free gum produces extra saliva, chewing these healthy snacks also produces extra saliva that aids in washing away unwanted bacteria. 

Regular check ups are an easy way to prevent bad breath. Before your next visit, take note of the foods you eat and the times which you consume meals. Share this recorded information with Dr. Monteiro and her clinical team at River Oaks Dental; a short, investigative conversation may help us identify the origin of your bad breath. Once we’ve discovered the source, we will work with you to tackle the issue and prevent the odor from returning. Call us to schedule your visit at 904.348.0416 and let us help you restore your fresh breath.

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