Bad breath or halitosis can come from many sources. The most obvious cause of halitosis is of course, food, but gum disease, tooth decay, and tobacco are also common causes. The most frequent reason for bad breath is inadequate hygiene which can lead to more serious problems if not addressed. When food particles and debris are not cleaned from your teeth and tongue, bacteria can collect and result in unpleasant mouth odors. Bad breath is often the first indicator of periodontal (gum) disease. This may be a warning sign of a more serious problem and should not be ignored.
In certain cases, dry mouth can cause bad breath as well. This condition results from sleeping with an open mouth or daytime mouth breathing. Certain medical conditions, medications or sinus and respiratory infections can also lead to halitosis. It is important to see a dentist to determine the origin of the odor so it can be treated properly. Depending upon the source of your problem an individual treatment program can be set up to control your bad breath.