Melbourne Smile Clinic

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath (scienfic word: Halitosis) can be caused by factors linked to the mouth and teeth (intra-oral) or due to health issues arising from the lungs, digestive system or hormonal disturbances (extra-oral).

The most common causes of bad breath are intra-oral. The build up of bacteria in the mouth, associated with poor oral hygiene, is one of the main causes. Bacteria grow on plaque (food debris) which builds up around teeth, under the gum margins and tongue surface, hence the need for thorough brushing, flossing and regular professional cleans. More severe cases of bad breath can be attributed to established gum disease as a result of poor oral hygiene and neglect over an extended period of time. The types of bacteria in the oral cavity evolve over time if the plaque level keeps growing and this  can lead to more virulent bacteria that cause gum disease and bad breath. 

Large cavities in a tooth and infected teeth are also breeding grounds to bacteria that contribute to bad breath. The wearing of appliances such as braces and dentures can also make oral hygiene more difficult, increasing the level of plaque bacteria in the mouth that contribute to bad breath.

If you are concerned about possibly having bad breath, the Melbourne Smile Clinic is able to assist you with the right advice. Call us or book an appointment online. 

Reference: Halitosis: Prevalence, risk factors, sources, measurements and treatment- a review of the litterature. Wu J., Cannon R., Ji P. et al. Australian Dental Journal (volume 65, issue 1, pages 4-11), March 2020


Covid-19 precautions in place: Dental treatment is available for patients who present no Covid-19 risk factors and for whom delaying treatment will lead to negative outcomes. Patients who have tested positive to Covid-19, have been a close contact of a positive case or have been to any listed exposure sites are advised to delay dental treatment until clear of all risks. Patients are kindly asked to check-in using the QR code at reception and to make sure that they do not present any symptoms indicative of possible Covid-19 infection. Patients will need to hand-sanitise and use a disinfecting mouthrinse prior to treatment being provided.