Trusted Independent Brisbane Dentists in Chermside

Exhale with Confidence: A Deep Dive into What Causes Bad Breath?

“Despite my efforts to maintain good oral health, I've developed a bitter taste in my mouth. Any ideas on what […]
Bad Breath Causes

“Despite my efforts to maintain good oral health, I've developed a bitter taste in my mouth. Any ideas on what might be contributing to this issue?”

Question from Oliver, Strathpine, Brisbane

Dr Darryl Marsh replies: 

You might experience a bad taste in your mouth, or have bad smelling breath due to various factors. Let’s discuss those factors together. Before I give you some insight on how you can get your fresh breath back again.

1. “Infections” have the potential to lead to a bad taste or bad breath.

Infections are often cited as a common cause of bitter taste and bad breath. This unseen problem can take many forms. From pus drainage into the mouth, to infections of the gums or jawbone. Each leaving its own imprint on oral health.

The challenge with these infections is their stealthy progression in the early stages. Most of the time, there is no associated pain. Allowing the infection to thrive silently for weeks... even months before any noticeable symptoms.

The consequences of this subtle advancement go beyond the oral cavity. While your unaware of the infection, harmful bacteria are infiltrating the bloodstream. Potentially wreaking havoc.

“Usually, those around an individual with bad breath are the first to detect it. Often before the affected person themselves realises it.”

It is important to book yourself an emergency appointment with us if you think you may have a tooth abscess.

2. A bad taste and bad breath may be a consequence of deteriorating fillings.

A significant contributor to both bad breath and a metallic taste, can be traced back to the gradual deterioration of dental fillings. As time passes, everything experiences wear and tear. This includes the ageing silver mercury fillings. The breakdown or corrosion of these fillings creates a vulnerability environment. It invites bacteria into the tooth. This then leads to decay and the production of a distinctly unpleasant taste.

The Primary Risks of Deteriorating Fillings

The primary risks of deteriorating fillings are:

  • Potential damage to surrounding tissues
  • Exacerbation of tooth decay
  • And an increased risk of developing an abscess.

Early detection of deteriorating fillings enables a simple solution—replacement. If the problem is not addressed, more extensive dental work may be required to save the tooth.

Early Intervention Matters

Understanding the relationship between deteriorating fillings and oral health is critical. Especially in addressing the causes of bad breath and bitter tastes. Prompt detection and intervention not only contribute to fresher breath, but also to the overall health of your teeth and gums. The path to optimal oral health begins with awareness and preventative dental care.

3. Different factors that may result in a bad taste or breath

  • Stomach Acids - Stomach acids can rise and potentially damage the oesophagus. Resulting in an unpleasant taste.
  • Bacterial Presence in the Mouth - Certain bacteria in the mouth can produce a 'rotten egg' gas. This causes bad breath. These bacteria typically live on the side of the tongue and, fortunately, do not harm the teeth. Specialised mouthwashes are often effective in dealing with this type of bacteria. Whereas standard over-the-counter mouthwashes may not be.
  • Food Residue Between Teeth - When food particles become trapped between the teeth, they can emit a foul odour or taste. This can eventually lead to decay and infection.


How to get rid of bad breath?

When I have a patient ask me how they can fix their bad breath, my answer is always the same. We need to first of all find out what is causing your bad breath. As you can see above, there are many determining factors that can cause bad breath. So we need to find out which one is your reason why.

The next step from there is to fix the problem. For some of my patient's that can mean a dental filling is required. Or an infected tooth needs to be treated. Or they need to drink more water to stay hydrated and prevent a dry mouth. However if it is a case a little extra help is just needed to get that fresh breath, there is a mouthwash I recommend to help. It’s called Oxyfresh.

This mouthwash might be your ideal choice if you're in search of a natural alternative with a unique flavour. Featuring an exclusive blend of zinc and Oxygene®, it combines the taste of lemon mint with the benefits of aloe vera, xylitol as a natural sweetener, and essential oils.


  • A straightforward, safe, and reliable oral care option
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in reducing harmful breath germs by 85%
  • Contributes to the enhancement of gum health


  • Its distinctive lemon-mint taste may not appeal to everyone.

It is critical to stay up to date with your routine dental check up and clean appointments. So we can ensure things stay healthy and fresh inside your mouth.

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