Woman covering mouth because of bad breath

Halitosis (commonly called bad breath) can be embarrassing, especially if it’s due to insufficient dental care. However, there are many instances in which bad breath is a result of something else, like dry mouth.


Determining the cause of bad breath and dry mouth can be difficult. Discover more about these two dental issues and what you can do to address them.


Bad Breath

A common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t effectively brush and floss away food particles from your teeth, bacteria will begin to grow around your gums, in between your teeth, and on your tongue.


The bacteria are responsible for the bad odor, causing your breath to smell.


There are also many health problems with bad breath as one of their symptoms. These include:

  • Gum disease
  • Cavities
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Postnasal drip
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic acid reflux
  • Kidney or liver issues
  • Dry Mouth


Dry Mouth

Dry mouth occurs when your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva, which is an important component in dental health.


Saliva helps you wash away food particles in your mouth, reducing your risk for bacteria developing and tooth decay occurring. Without enough saliva, food particles remain in your mouth and bacteria grow, resulting in bad breath.


Other common symptoms of dry mouth include:

  • Continual thirst
  • Dry feeling in the mouth
  • Dry tongue
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Cracked lips
  • Dry nasal passages
  • Sore throat


Sometimes, dry mouth is a common side effect of medications, both prescription and nonprescription.


Dry mouth can also be a symptom of other health issues, like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and anemia.


Talk to the Dentist

Because your mouth is dryer while you sleep, morning breath is a common result. However, if you notice that your breath is unusually smelly or you have an unpleasant taste in your mouth, visit the dentist.


Dentist man talking with woman patient


It’s important to tell your dentist about the medications you’re taking and any health problems you have. As you can see, determining the cause of dry mouth is difficult, as is determining the cause of bad breath.


When you provide your dentist with a clear picture of your overall health, the dentist will be more likely to accurately treat your dry mouth or bad breath.


General Treatments

If you want to generate more saliva, try sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugar-free gum. Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist.


If your dry mouth and bad breath are side effects of medications, you may need your doctor to change you to a similar medication without these side effects. Sometimes, doctors will prescribe a medicine that helps you generate saliva, especially if you cannot change your medication.


There are antibacterial mouthrinses to fight bacteria and dry mouth rinses to help moisturize your mouth.


Bottle of blue mouthwash


The most important thing to do if you believe you have halitosis or dry mouth is to visit your dentist. Remember to maintain a good dental health routine – brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit the dentist every six months for a professional cleaning.


For more information or to schedule a dental appointment, contact A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe in Sugar Land, Texas. We are committed to providing you and your family with expert dental care.