Halitosis could mean an oral health issue Skip to main content

Halitosis could mean an oral health issue

Bad breath might seem like one of those things that’s a little embarrassing but not really a big deal but sometimes halitosis is a sign that you’re experiencing an oral health issue.

Here are some possible reasons why you might be suffering from bad breath and why you need to see a dentist to have your halitosis diagnosed.

Gum disease

One of the most common explanations for halitosis is periodontitis, more commonly known as gum disease. Caused by plaque accumulation on your teeth and bacteria irritating your gums, periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and if left untreated, can damage your jaw bone. In severe cases, gum disease can lead to significant deterioration of the jaw bone. Since the jaw bone supports your teeth and holds them in place, losing too much bone tissue can eventually lead to tooth loss.


Untreated cavities can decay deeper into your tooth making it difficult to treat them with a simple filling. Large cavities may require a root canal, crown or tooth extraction.


Severe bad breath can be a sign that you have an oral infection. Other signs include red or swollen soft tissue in your mouth. If your bad breath does not go away, see a dentist so they can examine your mouth to see if an infection is present.

Dry mouth

Dry mouth can lead to halitosis. It can be caused by certain medications or when your salivary glands are not functioning correctly.

A non-oral health condition

Not all health concerns related to bad breath are oral in nature. Diseases such as diabetes, pneumonia, respiratory tract infections or kidney/liver problems can lead to halitosis. Left untreated, these conditions can present a serious threat to your well-being.

If you experience bad breath that won’t go away, see your dentist as soon as possible for early treatment.

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