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Halitosis, which is also referred to as bad breath, can be an occasional thing or it can be more persistent. Often, bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth and on the tongue. Halitosis that occurs because of this is easily remedied by brushing your teeth and tongue. However, occasionally bad breath is caused by a dental or overall health issue. Our dentist and team are happy to go over these culprits and their symptoms.

Infections in the Oral Cavity

Mouth infections allow bacteria to hide and fester in the mouth, causing bad breath. The symptoms of a mouth infection will differ depending on the type of infection. However, they may include:

– Inflamed or swollen gums that bleed easily
– An abscess on the gums or pus between the teeth
– Loose teeth or a change in your bite
– Open sores on the gums or tongue

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can cause bad breath because there is not sufficient saliva to naturally rinse and help clean the mouth. Signs of dry mouth include:

– Issues with swallowing dry foods
– A burning in the mouth
– Difficulty talking for a long time because of the mouth becoming dry
– Dry eyes
– An oddly high frequency of tooth decay

Respiratory Tract Infection

A respiratory tract infection can cause bad breath, especially if there is mucus drainage involved. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

– Swollen glands in the neck
– Stuffy nose
– Sore throat
– Fever
– A cough that produces phlegm
– Discharge from the nose that is greenish or yellowish


Diabetes, lung disease, kidney failure, or liver disease can also contribute to halitosis. Look for the symptoms of these medical conditions.

If you have persistent or recurring bad breath, visit Dr. Steven Sachs so he can determine the underlying cause. If the cause is connected to your overall health instead of to your dental health, our dentist in Orem, Utah, may suggest that you visit your regular doctor. We invite you to contact Sachs Family Dental at 801-225-4701 today to learn more and to schedule a visit.