Bad Breath? Here’s Why

So, you have bad breath. You might feel a little embarrassed about this, but you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from bad breath. You might think it’s a result of improper oral hygiene, but there are several reasons you could be having this issue. 

Bad breath does have a lot to do with how you clean your mouth, but it also has a lot to do with what you put into your body. Certain foods, medications, and even some health problems can lead to your breath being less than fresh. 



The food you eat is one of the main sources of bad breath. Extra pungent foods such as garlic, onions, and fennel can not only leave a lingering odor in your mouth, but it can also stay in your gut, fueling your bad breath for hours. 

Some diets may also cause bad breath. The ever-popular keto diet causes your body to burn fat as energy instead of carbohydrates. This process creates ketones, which have a naturally acidic odor. The ketones are exhaled through your breath, releasing them into the world for you and everyone else to smell.  


Acidic and sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, and coffee, contribute to your bad breath in a different way than food does.  

Bacteria love sugar. If you are not following up your sugary drink with water or a good brushing, you are harboring the best environment possible for the bacteria in your mouth.  

Not only do the bacteria cause bad breath, but they also eat away at the soft and hard tissue in your mouth. This could lead to tooth decay or other oral maladies that also cause bad breath, among other more serious issues. 

Health Issues 

The list of health issues that contribute to bad breath is fairly long. Some of the more common culprits are: 

  • diabetes 
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) 
  • acid reflux 
  • lactose intolerance 
  • liver or kidney diseases 
  • tonsil stones 
  • pulmonary or respiratory diseases 

The bad breath caused by these diseases could be a result of necrotizing bacteria in the affected area, the smell of the resulting chemical process caused by the disease, or the medication you are using to treat the illness. 

Medications that Cause Bad Breath 

Antihistamines and diuretics are the usual suspects when it comes to medications that contribute to bad breath. Triamterene and paraldehyde are also linked to bad breath. 

Improper brushing and flossing is not the only thing that can cause bad breath. Certain foods, drinks, medications, and diseases can all lead to you having bad breath. And sometimes it’s just the way our bodies work. 

At Shore Family Dentistry of Columbia, MD, we want to help you solve the mystery of your bad breath. Get in touch today and see why we are one of the best dental offices in Columbia Maryland. 

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