Ryan M. Buckwalter, DDS, FICOI, FAGD

1420 Greenbrier Place
Charlottesville, VA 22901


What Causes Bad Breath?

As it’s unpleasant for someone to smell bad breath and even more so embarrassing for another person to have it, it’s crucial to provide your teeth with the proper care they need on a daily-basis to help prevent it. That’s why it is important to know the various ways bad breath develops, so that you know what to do in order to prevent it. At Hillcrest Dental, we not only desire to prevent bad breath but all dental hygiene issues that may arise for our patients.


Hillcrest Dental is known as the most professional family-friendly dentist practice in Charlottesville, Virginia that specializes in a variety of services including general dental care, cosmetic treatments, and oral surgery. Our team is devoted to providing our patients with everything they need to maintain a bright, healthy smile with quality service that is both welcoming and comfortable. Below, we list a few of the reasons that leads to bad breath:

Bad Hygiene

Going without flossing or brushing your teeth each day will result in bits of food building up within the gaps of your teeth, which creates a bad odor in your oral cavity. Also, plaque will start to form on your teeth, which damages your teeth creating an even worse smell in your mouth.

Dry Mouth

Some important facts to remember is that saliva is a natural cleanser for the inside of your mouth, and a dry mouth is a sign that you may have bad breath. Due to a lack of saliva this may mean a rise in the bacteria in your mouth, which leads to bad breath. To avoid this, always make sure you stay hydrated.

Food & Drink

There are a plethora of foods that cause your breath to have a strong odor, such as meals with plenty of onion, garlic, or spices. Also, after eating a meal, there will be an increase of bacteria forming in your mouth due to the breakdown of food particles within your teeth, which is why it is important to brush and floss often. Drinks such as coffee or alcohol can also have a negative effect on how your breath smells. Both cause your mouth to produce less saliva, which means that more odor-causing bacteria will accumulate after consumed. Coffee also has a strong smell, which can remain in your breath long after you finish drinking your morning cup of joe.


There are specific medications and vitamin supplements which may cause your breath to smell badly, often because they either cause your mouth to dry up or create odors as the medicine breaks down in your system. If you are taking medication or vitamins often, schedule routine dental cleanings in addition to daily brushing and flossing to help combat bad breath.

Disease or Infection

There a number of diseases and infections that can cause bad breath, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, gum disease, mouth sores, or an infection caused by a recent dental surgery. Make sure that you receive regular check ups from your dentist to catch and treat these potential health issues sooner rather than later.


Regularly smoking is known as a common habit that develops bad breath along with using other tobacco-based products. It also causes users to develop gum disease, which is another well-known cause of bad breath. Try to limit the amount you smoke to keep bad breath at bay.

Hillcrest Dental: The Best Family Dentist in Charlottesville, VA

While these are the many habits and physical conditions that can cause our breath to smell foul, it is best to learn what you can do to change in order to avoid it. The best thing to do is to always brush and floss your teeth each day, stay hydrated, avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking large amounts of coffee. On top of that, if you live in Charlottesville, VA, always make sure that you frequently schedule routine dental check-ups with a professional family dentist practice like Hillcrest Dental. Our dentistry staff provides a number of dental services to help you maintain great oral health that ensures you have the best smile possible.

We look forward to your next visit with us! Contact us at 434-973-2224 to schedule an appointment or get a free consultation.

  • "I am very pleased with how my appointment went yesterday. Everyone was really friendly. They explained everything to me about the procedure and stayed late to assure I was comfortable with the work I had done. Dr Ryan Buckwalter and his assistants were awesome. I highly recommend them for any dental work. Thank you."

    Donnette M.

  • "I was having toothache pain in my lower jaw. I called the next day to make an appointment and was given an appointment time for the very next day. I saw Dr. Ryan, who is knowledgeable, caring and has great people skills with his patients. I made another appointment to come back and have the work done."

    Denise K.

  • “Dr. Buckwalter and his assistant did a wonderful job with our 8 year old today. While they were busy talking teeth, my 3 year old was enjoying his new lip balm and balloon! Finished up with a treat from Starbucks with our gift card. So glad our kiddos don’t fear the dentist. More like they want to keep stopping in."

    Logan D.

  • “Unbelievable experience with Dr. Ryan Buckwalter. Night and Day difference from my last dental experience with another dentist. I no longer fear the dentist!”

    David S.