Royal York Dental, Etobicoke

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Bad Breath

Bad breath is a common problem for patients. Royal York Dental has solutions and tips to help resolve your bad breath issues.

What is Halitosis?

Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. There are a number of potential causes and a variety of things you can do to treat and prevent it. At Royal York Dental, our dentists are here to help. 

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What Causes Halitosis?

Lack of Saliva

Saliva is essential for breath control. Lose your saliva and you may experience bad breath. Stimulate your saliva and your breath can improve.  

Any restriction in saliva flow will hinder your ability to control bacterial plaque and gum infection. Without saliva, you might suffer from tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.

Dry mouth is a common condition brought on by age, illness and certain medications. If you have problems with a dry mouth, supportive treatment and dental products may help restore moisture and protect your teeth.


At night, your mouth undergoes changes that contribute to increased odour. Your saliva flow decreases and the bacteria grows. Without carbohydrates for energy, those bacteria begin to metabolize proteins which produce compounds that affect your breath. Whenever we fast, we expose our mouth to similar conditions as when we sleep. 

Food Odour

Enjoy spicy foods? Onions and garlic are commonly mixed within many food dishes and can be detected on your breath for up to 72 hours after digestion. Onions are absorbed by the stomach and the odour is then excreted through the lungs. 

Poor Hygiene

This is probably the most significant factor regarding bad breath. Levels of bacteria in your mouth can affect the severity of halitosis you experience.  

The great thing about dental hygiene therapy in combination with your home care is that it maintains the health of your teeth and gums while helping your breath stay fresh!

Your tongue can also be a source of bad breath since the surface is rough and can become coated with bacteria. When you brush your teeth, don't forget to brush your tongue!

Dental Conditions

Untreated dental disease, such as tooth decay or gum disease, can directly contribute to mouth odour. Bad breath is one of the warning signs of gum disease.

Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions result in characteristic breath odours, such as a fruity scent with diabetes. Individuals with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to bacterial infections such as gum disease. Medications used to treat medical conditions can also alter the breath, particularly those that interfere with saliva production.

Smoking, Alcohol, Coffee and Tea

Smoking, along with coffee and alcohol consumption, contributes to breath odour, and may exacerbate the problem of having a dry mouth. Smoking is also a very significant causative factor in the progression of gum disease.

How can you help bad breath?

Drink plenty of water.

A quick swish and a few swigs of water can make a big difference in staying fresh throughout the day. Follow up your cup of coffee with a drink of clean, clear water.

Brush & floss.

Brush twice a day, and floss once a day to keep your teeth and gums healthy and fresh.

Eat nutritious foods.

Consume plenty of vegetables and fresh fruit. Limit sweets since refined sugars will feed the bacteria within your mouth. Also, try to avoid skipping meals since fasting can cause bad breath. 

Visit the dentist.

When you visit our dental hygienists, we will provide you with a thorough teeth cleaning. Scheduling regular check ups and hygiene appointments are important for the maintenance of your oral health.

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