Your breath might smell bad and you don’t even know it. Yuck!

By Dr. Kaffey on February 14, 2018

10 Things that Can Cause Bad Breath

Bad breath can be annoying and embarrassing when it is something you constantly have issues with, especially when you can’t figure out the cause. Everyone knows that a hearty helping of onions or garlic can can make your breath less than pleasant, but there are other causes of bad breath that you may not know about.


If you’ve ever heard of the term “beer breath,” you know exactly what we’re talking about. Alcoholic drinks can dry out your mouth, letting those bad-breath-causing bacteria to build up in your mouth. It’s the same phenomenon that causes that lovely morning breath.

Dried fruit

Bad breath bacteria also love to feed on sugar and stickiness that’s left in your mouth. A ¼ cup serving of dried fruit can have 17-24 grams of sugar – equivalent to about 4 or 5 teaspoons of pure sugar, which can leave lots of stickiness behind. Make sure you brush or floss your teeth thoroughly after eating foods high in sugar like these.

Lack of carbs in your diet

A lot of fad diets these days encourage you to cut carbs out of your diet and add more protein. But what they don’t know is that they’re encouraging bad breath too. When your body starts burning fat for energy, it produces compounds that cause bad breath known as ketones. Unfortunately, good hygiene won’t fix the problem, so you’ll need to have a pack of sugar-free gum handy.

Certain medications

We already talked about how a dry mouth can allow odor-causing bacteria to build up. Hundreds of prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs have a side-effect that lessens saliva in your mouth. Don’t take this as a reason to change or stop taking your medications. By chewing sugarless gum to encourage saliva flow and drinking more water, you can easily avoid this problem. You can also ask Dr. Kaffey about oral rinse options.

A cold virus

When your nose and throat fill up with mucus from a viral infection, the odor-causing bacteria also come out to play, since they love feeding on mucus. Not to mention, you tend to mouth breathe with a stuffy nose, which dries out your mouth and causes more of a bacteria build-up. Drink lots of water to keep your mouth from getting too dry and try a decongestant to lessen the mucus. Luckily, bad breath from an illness is only a temporary problem.

An ulcer

The type of bacteria that causes ulcers can also cause bad breath. If you notice a painful sore in your mouth visit Dr. Kaffey to see if its an ulcer. He can prescribe you an antibiotic to kill the bacteria, effectively treating the ulcer and the bad breath.

Tonsil stones

Sometimes dried bacteria, food particles, dead cells and mucus can build up in the back of your mouth and in your tonsils. While its a harmless condition, it can get a bit smelly. Gargling with salt water can help to clean it out or you can see Dr. Kaffey for other options.

Acid Reflux

This common digestive disorder can cause bad breath either from undigested food and acid coming up your esophagus or from post-nasal drip caused by acid irritation in the throat. The best way to avoid bad breath from acid reflux is to get the reflux symptoms under control with medications and diet changes.

Cracked teeth

The crevices that can form in a cracked tooth can trap food and bacteria, causing not only bad breath, but also cavities and gum disease. Regular visits to Dr. kaffey can help to avoid problems related to cracked teeth.

Your own tongue

Yes, that’s right, the whole problem could be from your tongue. Brushing your teeth is always a must, but many don’t know that you should also brush your tongue. It’s a breeding ground for bacteria, so you need to go at it with a brush or scraper on a regular basis to keep it minty fresh.

While bad breath can be a nuisance, most of these causes are treatable or even preventable with regular visits to Dr. Kaffey can help. If you are having issues with unusually bad breath and can’t seem to remedy it, call or email Leading Dental Solutions, so we can help you find the cause and a treatment that is right for you, so you can get back to enjoying life without the worry of how your breath smells.

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Lansdale Office

2032 N Broad St
Ste 1
Lansdale, PA 19446

More Info Directions (215) 368-6636