What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath is something we all run into from time to time. Whether you classify it as morning breath, coffee breath, or garlic breath, most of us try to avoid bad breath as much as possible. But we are not always successful.

Some causes of bad breath are simple for us to identify, such as onions or coffee. But sometimes we notice a bad taste in our mouth and a stink in our breath and have no idea what caused it. If you find yourself searching for a piece of gum, swishing with mouthwash regularly, or feeling the need to brush your teeth constantly, there may be an issue that you are unaware of.


At Brookside Dental Care in Cheyenne, we are experts in oral health and hygiene and know that bad breath can be a sign of a more serious condition or problem. There are several different causes of bad breath that you may not have ever considered. If you want to learn more about bad breath and what might be causing yours, read on. We are going to be discussing some of the main causes of bad breath in this blog.

Bad Oral Health

This may be obvious but one of the most common causes of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. If you do not brush your teeth or floss regularly, food particles can be left in your mouth. These particles can eventually rot and cause your breath to stink. Plaque can also build up when you do not take proper care of your teeth, which can add to the bad breath. Plus, as the plaque builds up it can lead to gum disease if not taken care of.



Food is another common cause of bad breath. Some foods, such as onions, garlic, spicy foods, fish, some cheeses, exotic food, like curry, and acidic drinks like coffee, can leave a lingering odor in your mouth. However, this type of bad breath is generally temporary and will not last too long. An Article from MedicineNet mentions that some diets that are low in carbohydrates can lead to something called “ketone breath.” Ketone is what is created when your body burns fat as an energy source. The ketone causes the breath to have a “fruity acetone-like” odor when you exhale.

Tobacco Products

If you needed another reason to avoid or quit using tobacco products, this is it. Smoking and chewing tobacco can leave chemicals in your mouth which can lead to bad breath. Smoking can also lead to other issues that cause bad breath, such as oral cancer and gum disease.

Dry Mouth

Saliva helps to moisten and cleanse your mouth while removing food particles that could cause bad breath. When your body does not produce enough saliva, it can lead to bad breath. A lack of saliva, which is a condition called xerostomia, happens naturally as you sleep, which is why morning breath is a common occurrence. Some causes of dry mouth include salivary gland problems, connective tissue disorders, breathing through the mouth, and medications. If you feel like you also have dry mouth, be sure to talk with your dentist or doctor about the issue.

Other Health Issues

There are many health issues that can also cause bad breath. While most people brush off bad breath as a minor problem, stinky breath could be a sign that a more serious issue is present. Bad breath has been associated with numerous health issues, including:

  • Sinus infection
  • Sore throat
  • Throat infections
  • Common cold
  • Influenza
  • Diabetes
  • Acid reflux
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Digestive problems
  • Some liver diseases
  • Some kidney disease
  • And more

If you feel as though there is something out of the ordinary with your health and have also noticed that your breath has been stinky recently, you should talk with your doctor to ensure you don’t have a more serious health problem.

These are a few of the most common causes of bad breath. Now that you know a bit more about what might be causing your bad breath, you will be better able to fight it! At Brookside Dental Care in Cheyenne, we can help you learn more about oral hygiene and determine whether your bad breath is caused by something more serious. Learn more about our services and contact us to schedule an appointment. Stay tuned for our next blog to learn some tips for fighting bad breath!