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Bad Breath: Causes, Remedies, and When to See Your Dentist.

Young woman embarrassed about her bad breath, covering her mouth with both hands.

Hey there, oral health enthusiasts! If you’ve ever been close to someone and caught a whiff of something less than fresh, you know how important a minty-fresh breath can be. Today, we’re diving into the nitty-gritty of a topic that’s often brushed under the rug – bad breath.

Welcome to the world of Smile Science Dental Spa, where we’re committed to keeping your pearly whites shining and your breath smelling fresh as a daisy. At the heart of our practice in the sunny city of Glendale, AZ, are two exceptional dentists – Dr. Richard Dawson and Dr. John Turke. Both are as dedicated as a toothbrush to plaque when it comes to battling bad breath!

What is Bad Breath?

Woman covering her mouth due to bad breath

Now, let’s take a minute to talk about bad breath, shall we? If you want to get fancy (and who doesn’t?), you can call it by its scientific name: halitosis. Sounds like something out of a biology textbook, doesn’t it?

But what exactly is halitosis? Well, in simple terms, it’s when your breath has an unpleasant odor. That’s right, when someone says you have dragon breath, they’re basically saying you have halitosis. It’s the kind of breath that makes people lean back a little (or a lot) when you speak. Not exactly the best for a first impression, right?

Halitosis happens when odor-producing bacteria build up in your mouth. These sneaky little critters live in the nooks and crannies of your mouth, feeding on bits of food left behind, producing smelly sulfur compounds. Don’t worry, though; we’re here to help you slay the bad breath dragon and claim victory for fresh breath!

The Causes of Bad Breath

Woman holding a lit cigarette in her hand

Alright, now that we know what bad breath is, let’s talk about why it happens. Here are some of the most common culprits:

  1. Poor oral hygiene: This is the number one cause of bad breath. If you’re not brushing and flossing regularly, leftover food particles in your mouth can cause bacteria to grow, resulting in a not-so-pleasant aroma.
  2. Smoking and alcohol consumption: Smoking can leave your mouth smelling like an ashtray, while alcohol dries out your mouth, making it a perfect playground for odor-causing bacteria.
  3. Certain foods and drinks: Onions, garlic, and coffee, to name a few, are notorious for causing bad breath. These foods enter your bloodstream and are carried to your lungs, affecting the smell of your breath.
  4. Dry mouth: Saliva plays a crucial role in cleaning your mouth. When you don’t produce enough of it (a condition called xerostomia), food particles and bacteria can build up, leading to bad breath.
  5. Medical conditions and medications: Conditions like diabetes, liver disease, or even a common cold can cause bad breath. Likewise, certain medications may reduce saliva flow, leading to a dry mouth and, you guessed it, bad breath!

dentist or doctor. Trust me, they’ve seen (and smelled) it all, and they’re there to help!

Home Remedies for Bad Breath

A young woman smiling while flossing her teeth

Enough about the causes! Let’s dive into how you can fight back against bad breath right at home:

Good oral hygiene practices

  1. Regular brushing and flossing: This dynamic duo is your first line of defense. Aim for brushing twice a day and flossing once.
  2. Use of mouthwash: Mouthwash can reach those hard-to-brush areas and kill lingering bacteria. Think of it as the superhero backup to your brushing and flossing routine.
  3. Cleaning the tongue: A lot of bacteria hide on your tongue. Using a tongue scraper or your toothbrush to clean it can be a game-changer.

Healthy lifestyle changes

  1. Adequate hydration: Water is your secret weapon. It helps produce saliva and can also wash away food particles and bacteria.
  2. Balanced diet: Eating a healthy diet not only benefits your overall health but your oral health too. Foods like crunchy fruits and vegetables can help keep your teeth clean.
  3. Avoiding tobacco and alcohol: These substances can dry out your mouth and lead to bad breath. Cutting back or quitting altogether can significantly improve your breath.

While these remedies are effective, they might not be enough if the cause of your bad breath is a dental or medical condition. In that case, don’t hesitate to consult with your dentist or doctor. Trust me, they’ve seen (and smelled) it all, and they’re there to help!

When Over-the-Counter Remedies are Not Enough

Young woman swishing with mouthrinse while holding an electric toothbrush and looking skeptical

Now, you might be thinking, “I’m doing all the right things, but my breath still smells like a dragon after a spicy meal!” Sometimes, home remedies and over-the-counter products just don’t cut it. Here’s why: bad breath can be a symptom of more serious dental problems like gum disease, or even medical conditions such as sinusitis or diabetes.

That’s why, if you’ve tried all the tricks in the book and your breath still isn’t fresh, it’s time to bring in the pros. Don’t feel embarrassed – remember, dentists are like detectives for your mouth. They’re trained to spot and address issues that you might miss.

Look out for persistent bad breath, dry mouth, a constant sour taste, or changes in your sense of taste. These could be signs of underlying issues that require a dentist’s attention.

How Smile Science Dental Spa Can Help

At Smile Science Dental Spa, Dr. Richard Dawson and Dr. John Turke are always ready to come to the rescue. With their state-of-the-art technology and a wealth of experience, they can help get to the root of your bad breath problem.

Our services range from routine dental cleanings to more comprehensive procedures, like treating gum disease. And it’s not just about tackling existing problems; we’re big on prevention, too. Regular dental check-ups can catch issues before they become serious, keeping your breath fresh and your smile sparkling.


That’s our journey through the world of bad breath. Remember, maintaining good oral hygiene, making healthy lifestyle choices, and seeking professional help when necessary can help you win the battle against bad breath.

Don’t let bad breath blow your confidence away! If you’re in Glendale, AZ, and bad breath is causing you stress, reach out to us at Smile Science Dental Spa. Let Dr. Dawson and Dr. Turke turn that dragon breath into a cool, fresh breeze. We’re all in this together – one breath at a time!

References and Further Reading

  1. Halitosis – StatPearls
  2. Halitosis: Current concepts on etiology, diagnosis and managementEur J Dent.
  3. Halitosis: From diagnosis to managementJ Nat Sci Biol Med.
  4. A Current Approach to Halitosis and Oral Malodor- A Mini ReviewOpen Dent J.
author avatar
Richard Dawson, DMD General Dentist
Dr. Richard Dawson, DMD, is a prominent dentist in Glendale, AZ, focused on cosmetic, implant, and emergency dentistry. A graduate of Midwestern University, he co-founded Smile Science Dental Spa with Dr. John Turke in February 2023. Passionate about helping patients achieve beautiful and healthy smiles, Dr. Dawson brings a blend of expertise and compassion to his practice. He regularly shares insights and tips on dental health on his blog, providing valuable information for both new and existing patients alike.


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