Mann Family Dental
A Great Dentist

What Causes Bad Breath

August 6, 2014
Posted By: Dr. Russell D. Mann
woman hiding smile with hand

Bad breath can be a symptom of bad health. It could also be a symptom of too much garlic at lunch time.
Either way, it’s a good idea to be aware of what can cause bad breath so you can pick out potential warning signs of gum disease, sinus infections and even liver or kidney problems. Here are some things that can cause bad breath.

1. Poor Dental Hygiene

This is perhaps the most obvious culprit of bad breath. If you don’t brush and floss properly, food particles in your mouth will grow some smelly bacteria.

2. Stinky Food

Even when those food particles are no longer in your mouth, particularly stinky foods can stay in your system for a while. As you digest, food is broken down and absorbed into your body, and its odor can continue to travel from your lungs into your breath.

3. Gum Disease

Bad breath is one of the many symptoms of gum disease. Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by having poor dental hygiene. When bacteria is able to grow in your mouth, it’ll cause bad breath before and while gum disease is developing, making it a great warning sign for this condition.

4. Smoking

One of the many awful side effects of smoking or chewing tobacco is bad breath. Smoking also increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancer.

5. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is exactly how it sounds. It occurs when there’s not enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Saliva helps to control bacteria in your mouth. When it’s not present, it can cause a lot of problems including bad breath.

6. Respiratory Tract Infections

Sinusitis, tonsillitis, and bronchitis can all cause bad breath. As the air you breathe out passes through the respiratory tract and past these infections, it picks up that bad odor.

7. Lack of Carbs

When your body runs out of carbohydrates to burn, it starts to burn fat. Chemicals called ketones are released when this happens, and these ketones also make your breath stink. This also happens when someone has diabetes, as they have the inability to use sugar as a fuel source and their bodies burn fat instead.

8. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when your stomach acid is able to flow up into your esophagus. This can be painful, and it also causes bad breath.

9. Liver or Kidney Problems

Bad breath can even be a symptom that helps to diagnose liver or kidney failure. Certain chemicals are produced when there are problems with these organs, and those chemicals can enter into the lungs, and cause bad breath.

If you have questions about bad breath causes or treatment, email Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more posts about oral health.

If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (603) 625-9823
View the ADA Accessibility Statement