At some point, everyone experiences unpleasant breath due to factors like consuming garlic or onions. It’s not uncommon to wake up with “morning breath” caused by limited oxygen intake during sleep or have sour breath after drinking alcohol. Usually, these instances are temporary and can be easily resolved with time and proper dental care.

However, chronic bad breath is a more serious concern that could indicate underlying issues. Bacteria often play a significant role in causing persistent bad breath, signaling potential health problems. Dental issues, such as poor hygiene, cavities, gum disease, or broken dental fillings, could be the culprits. Additionally, medical conditions like diabetes, liver disease, respiratory infections, chronic bronchitis, acid reflux, or post-nasal drip may contribute to chronic bad breath. Regardless of the cause, addressing chronic bad breath promptly is essential to safeguard your overall health.

If you suspect medical factors are at play, consider consulting your doctor. For dental-related concerns, seek assistance from the qualified dental professional at Top Down Dental in San Jose.

Thankfully, bad breath can be treated effectively. If poor dental hygiene is the root cause, the solution is relatively simple. Establishing a regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-up routine with Top Down Dental in Los Gatos can resolve the issue swiftly. Over-the-counter mouthwashes can provide temporary relief as well.

Addressing Dental Problems

Cavities and Broken or Cracked Fillings

Address cavities and broken or cracked fillings. Dr. Nancy Nehawandian, an experienced general dentistry practitioner, will assess your teeth to determine if these issues are contributing to your bad breath and schedule necessary corrections.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common cause of bad breath, and it shouldn’t be ignored. The infection of gums often involves anaerobic oral bacteria, which produce smelly sulfur compounds. If you notice chronic bad breath, consult your dentist promptly to protect not just your breath but also your overall health.

Infected Teeth

Infected teeth can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated. Even before reaching that stage, you might detect foul smells or tastes caused by bacteria gathering in the infected tooth. Pay attention to this warning sign and consult your dentist promptly.

Tongue Bacteria:

Bacteria can accumulate on the tongue, resulting in unpleasant odors or tastes. Ensure proper tongue cleaning to prevent bacterial buildup and foul breath.

Tonsil Stones

Tonsils can trap bacteria and food particles, leading to the formation of smelly tonsil stones. Recurring tonsil stones could indicate excessive bacteria in other areas of your mouth, necessitating a dental visit.

Managing Contributing Factors

Acid Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux can contribute to bad breath, along with other symptoms. If you experience regular heartburn or other GERD-related issues, consult your doctor.

Dry Mouth

Insufficient saliva production can lead to increased oral bacteria and food particles, resulting in bad breath. Identify the cause of dry mouth and make lifestyle changes accordingly. A dentist can recommend or prescribe saliva substitutes if needed.

Retained Food

Food trapped in cavities or gaps between teeth can sour in your mouth and cause foul odors. Finish each meal with water to clear your mouth of retained food and consider dental procedures like fillings or orthodontics to address the issue.


Your diet can influence your breath due to metabolic changes caused by certain foods. Low-carb diets, for example, can lead to ketosis, producing ketones that contribute to bad breath. Consult your dentist or doctor if dietary factors are affecting your breath.

Health Conditions and Medications

Certain health conditions and medications can impact your breath. For instance, diabetes, some cancers, gluten sensitivity or allergy, and medications causing dry mouth may lead to bad breath.

Sleep Apnea, Snoring, and Chronic Morning Breath

Snoring and sleep apnea can result in chronic morning breath due to mouth breathing and dry mouth. Seek medical attention if you suspect these conditions may be contributing to your bad breath.


Some individuals fear having bad breath (halitophobia) even when they don’t have it (pseudo-halitosis). Dentists can offer reassurance and support to help those with halitophobia overcome their concerns.

Find Treatment from Your San Jose Dentist

Ready to get rid of your bad breath once and for all? Take the first step towards fresher breath and improved oral health by scheduling an appointment with San Jose/Los Gatos dentist Dr. Nancy Nehawandian at Top Down Dental. Don’t let bad breath hold you back – our experienced dental team is here to help you find the root cause and provide effective solutions. Call us today at (408) 354-5600 or use our convenient online form to book your appointment. Say goodbye to bad breath and hello to a confident, healthy smile!