Surprising Causes of Bad Breath

clean, tongue, oral hygieneMost people assume bad breath is a sign of poor oral hygiene. While poor oral hygiene can be a culprit, bad breath can be caused by a number of other factors. Occasionally, bad breath can’t be brushed or flossed away, but knowing the following list of causes might help you combat foul breath.


Medications such as antidepressants, diuretics, and even aspirin can cause dry mouth, which in turn causes bad breath. Saliva rinses away any food particles and bacteria that foul the breath, and when you have dry mouth, you aren’t producing the amount of saliva needed to do this. Dry mouth can be a side effect of certain medications that cause salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.


Bacteria on the tongue live off food particles and substances broken down by saliva and give off an unpleasant odor. They multiply overnight when your salivary glands slow down, hence the reason for “morning breath”. This is why it’s important to brush your tongue along with your teeth.

Skipping Breakfast

Breakfast is “the most important meal of the day” for a number of reasons. Besides the health advantages for your mind and body, breakfast also helps rid bad breath. When you eat breakfast, you stimulate saliva production which washes away bacteria and scrubs bacteria off of the tongue.

Respiratory Tract Infections

Constant bad breath could be a warning sign of gum disease. However, it can also be a symptom of bronchitis, a sinus infection or a cold. Respiratory tract infections break down tissue, starting a flow of cells and mucus that harmful bacteria feed off of, which creates a foul odor.


Food is broken down in your mouth and as your body begins to digest food, it is absorbed into your bloodstream, and carried off into your lungs where the odors are given off in your breath. If you eat foods such as garlic and onion, brushing and flossing will only temporarily get rid of the odor. Foods that are high in protein and calcium produce large amounts of amino acids which produce more bacteria. A diet low in carbs burns stored fat which creates toxic-smelling ketones.

Breathing Through Your Mouth

When you breath through your mouth, it dries the tissues of your mouth, preventing saliva from washing away food particles and bacteria, which creates foul breath. People suffering from sleep apnea, asthma, or snoring may experience this.

Chronic Illnesses

Bad breath can also be a result of diseases such as liver or kidney disease, diabetes, or chronic acid reflux.


Consuming heavy amounts of alcohol can lead to dry mouth, which causes bad breath.

If brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day still isn’t getting rid of your bad breath, it may be a sign of an underlying issue. Contact Greenspoint Dental today to find out if you have any oral problems of if a simple teeth cleaning will do the trick. In our general dentistry practice we offer patients a number of basic care services that will keep your smile bright and healthy.