man with bad breath

The Most Surprising Causes of Bad Breath You Probably Don’t Know

Having good oral health is a huge goal for most of us. But with so much food to enjoy, we end up ignoring how the food we eat affects our teeth and gums. This often happens if we eat too many sweets, forget to brush daily, skip dental appointments, grind our teeth, and other habits that harm our oral health. Taking care of our teeth is easy, but it becomes more of a chore if you don’t see the value in it.

A healthy smile can make or break a first impression. That’s why people these days are becoming conscious of their oral care. They rely on dental experts to undergo dental procedures and seek advice for dental hygiene. For those with crooked teeth, dental experts work with dental labs for retainers to ensure patient compliance for accurate retainer treatment plans.

But aside from healthy teeth, a fresh-smelling breath is another key to good oral health. This is because a stinky breath can be a sign of underlying oral health problems, such as mouth infection, digestive issues, or gum disease. Not only that, but bad breath can also affect your personal image by literally blowing people away.

Having bad breath is the last thing we want to have. To avoid having one, it’s important to learn what causes it. With that in mind, here are the most surprising causes of bad breath and how to address them.

Alcoholic beverage

A night out of beers and booze won’t only give you a hangover. Although alcohol is liquid, its ingredients accelerate dry mouth, which stimulates bacteria to cause halitosis, a medical term for bad breath.

Spicy foods, cigarettes, and caffeine also cause dry mouth. This also explains the reason behind “morning breath” every time you wake up. A dry mouth happens if you don’t produce much saliva when asleep.


Bacterial presence on the tongue is another common cause of stinky breath. Besides your teeth, make it a habit to clean your tongue using a tongue scraper since they do a better job of removing excess bacteria on the tongue. Avoid brittle scrapers made of plastic since they easily snap, while metal ones can injure your tongue because of their sharp edges. You can also use your toothbrush, but make sure to brush the tongue gently.

Common colds

Believe it or not, respiratory tract issues, such as bronchitis and colds, also cause bad breath. This is because the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth thrive on mucus. So when you have nasal congestion or a stuffy nose, you’re likely to breathe through your mouth, causing saliva to dry out. In this case, address your respiratory problem immediately to avoid getting a smelly breath.

Skipping breakfast

Saliva keeps the digestive system clean, especially the mouth and esophagus. It serves as an engine oil for the digestive system every time you consume food. Taking your breakfast every morning restores saliva to help the digestive system perform its job. Skipping breakfast stops this process and introduces certain compounds that cause a dry mouth and stinky breath.

Low-carb diet

If you’re a fan of fad diets, time to check how your breath smells. Cutting out carbs and increasing the amount of protein in your diet push the body to burn fat for energy use. This process makes substances in your body called ketones, which leads to bad breath.

Sadly, regular oral hygiene won’t fix this issue because your oral health isn’t the main cause. The best solution is to try sugar-free gum to remove the stinky smell.

Medical issues

Ulcers, acid reflux, intestinal issues, and bowel obstructions all cause bad breath. Although an ulcer itself isn’t a root cause, the bacteria that triggers an ulcer causes bad breath. Whether it’s because of stomach acid or food build-up, these health issues can lead to a serious case of halitosis. The best you can do is to consult your gastroenterologist to address your digestive problem.

Other medical conditions that cause bad breath include diabetes, lactose intolerance, allergies, gum disease, cancer, and tonsil stones. Even the type of medications you take can also be a potential cause. This is because certain prescription medications include side effects that accelerate dry mouth.

Knowing the root cause of bad breath is the best way to avoid it. Whether you’re a cigarette smoker, coffee-drinker, or just too lazy to brush your teeth, keep in mind that bad breath can lead to even bigger dental problems if you keep ignoring it. So if you’re guilty of any items above, make sure to address them immediately.

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