14 Common causes of Bad Breath (and how to freshen up)

bad breath with braces

Trouble with your breath? Eliminating one of these root causes could be the solution! Information on common causes as well as home remedies for preventative measures!

bad breath with braces

Usually, this unpleasant incident is quite harmless in the best of circumstances, but it’s just annoying.

According to research according to science, bad breath, also known as halitosis is caused by the microbiome level. The cause of bad breath is of the bacteria that reside in our mouths that break down food particles the spaces between teeth as well as on our tongues and gums.

As this happens sulfuric compounds are released which emits a foul smell, and creating what we call bad breath, also known as what medical professionals call Halitosis. 

From a holistic view taking a look at the knowledge and wisdom from Ayurveda (Ancient India Medicine) they also would be in agreement with these assertions. The practitioners of Ayurveda believe the fact that oral hygiene issues, as well as unsurprisingly digestion issues are the most significant reasons for bad breath.

Let’s examine these issues in more detail and also 12 other causes. We’ll also discuss the most holistic ways to get rid of bad breath.

1. You’ve Just Been Up

This could be the most obvious reason in this instance. However, let’s look at the reasons for this that during the night the body is working on detoxifying, healing and rejuvenating tissues.

The oral bacteria are very active, too. This is because saliva production decreases dramatically during the night. Since saliva plays a significant function in cleaning the mouth and stopping bacteria from flourishing it is possible to see an accumulation of bacteria after sleep.


If that’s you, no worries, morning breath is normal for the majority of people. It is able to be reversed by simple dental hygiene techniques such as pulls of the oil.

2. Mouth-Breathing

Breathing in and out of the mouth for long periods could cause dry mouth due to the inability of saliva production. The dry mouth we’ll see is one of the major causes of bad breath.

If your mouth is excessively dry from breathing through the mouth the mouth loses the ability to effectively remove food particles left behind.

A German study found that those who had spent much time in physical exercise had a higher chance to suffer from cavities.

This could be the reason for bad breath. Researchers concluded that frequent mouth breathing leads to lower saliva production.


Although breathing is a simple process but many people practice it in a way that is automatic. It is recommended to be more aware of breathing, especially when exercising. It is best to take long breaths through the diaphragm of the nose to prevent dry mouth. 

3. Stinky Foods

Sometimes, bad breath is just as easy as the food we consume. Commonly sour foods such as onions and garlic are known for their unpleasant breath. 

However, there are other causes, such as certain spices and cruciferous vegetables such as the cabbages, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. They are also rich in sulfur, which may create an unpleasant smell.

We will talk about this later the cause of bad breath is in the digestive system, and although these food items may not be unpleasant to eat however, sucking them up afterward could leave a sour sulfur scent. 

When you consume these foods, sulfuric substances are absorbed into your bloodstream and then into the lungs where they are able to be eliminated after hours of having consumed these foods.


Take a chewing gum with sugar-free after eating a particularly unpleasant food. This increases saliva production to eliminate bad breath smells.

4. Smoking

The time is now to add list of ailments that are caused by smoking cigarettes. It’s not surprising that smoking cigarettes is not only a way to increase the quantity of odor-producing substances in the lips and in their lungs.

However, it may also cause dryness of your mouth, resulting in less saliva production, as per the 2004 study of researchers in Hong Kong.


There are more important reasons to stop smoking cigarettes than just bad breath. We’re not going to go through the long list of reasons why smoking is harmful to your health, however this is a good start in your quest to stop.

5. Medication

Certain medications–such as some antihistamines diuretics, antipsychotics, as well as muscle relaxants–may cause side consequences that can include dry mouth According to Dr. Rifai. 

In turn, this could lower the amount of saliva that your mouth produces and can increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth.


Because you don’t have any control with regards to your treatment regimen, you can consider cleaning your tongue using either a toothbrush or tongue scraper. 

bad breath with braces

Based on the American Dental Association, your tongue is the main source of bacteria that contribute to bad breath. by scraping it off can stop bad breath at the very least, temporarily.

6. Sinus Infection/Cold

The mucus that you breathe in assists in filtering all foreign particles you inhale from the surroundings. It’s a good thing. But what happens when the mucus is beginning to accumulate in your throat due to horrible allergies to pollen or a severe cold?

Foreign particles eventually get through your mouth, and settle on the tongue’s surface and cause bad breath, as per an article published in 2012 from The International Journal of Oral Science. As if having a sore throat was not bad enough.


Use a saline nasal rinse to clear your nasal passages. If you are still experiencing problems, consult your physician.

7. A Low-Carb Diet

The people who reduce the amount of carbohydrate intake are known to experience higher levels of the halitosis. In fact research conducted by researchers at Yeshiva University compared subjects on an extremely low-carb diet to those who follow a diet that is low in fat and found that more people from the former group had bad breath than those who were on the people on the latter.

But, it must be noted that people who are on a low-fat diet have also admitted to more burping (and the occasional the occasional feigning.)


If a diet that is low in carbs is effective for you, gum that is sugar-free along with taking more fluids can help to reduce the craving.

8. Cavities

Your mom may have advised you that the build-up of plaque can cause damage to the teeth which can lead to dental cavities. While dental hygiene issues are certainly contributing to bad breath but these “holes” could also cause an increase in halitosis in a different way “Food may get trapped in cavities,” Dr. Grbic.

Furthermore, because cavities are difficult to remove, the traces of your last meal could remain there for longer than usual durations and result in an increase in bad breath. (For the fact, yes you’ll require an appointment to fill them.)


To keep your breath fresh, following proper oral hygiene routines is essential. Regular brushing, flossing and tongue scraping are just a couple of ways to stop odor-causing bacteria from accumulating on the tongue and teeth.

9. Dental Appliances

There’s more to it than just braces. Orthodontic appliances like dentures or fix bridges may be challenging to keep clean also. 

(Research has also shown that dental appliances can be linked with higher levels of plaque buildup–which is why a regular hygiene routine is crucial.)


It’s essential to clean them regularly, advises Dr. Grbic, since they’re also magnets for food particles that may get trapped within the fabric.

10. Alcohol

Alcohol remains in your breath for a long time after the last call. Indeed, a study conducted in 2007 conducted by researchers from Israel discovered the fact that having a drink was associated with higher levels of halitosis, even though the subjects been fasting for 12 hours over the course of the night and also were allowed the privilege of brushing the teeth early in the morning.

The study’s authors believed that not only does alcohol make a person’s mouth dry and mouth, but also that a distinct smell is created by the body’s metabolism of alcohol.


If you are prone to getting an unusually smelly breath following a drink, adhere to a set limit and do not exceed it. 

In addition, a glass of water after drinking does not just help in reducing bad breath however, it also helps you control your alcohol consumption by increasing your appetite.

11. Acidity or Heartburn Reflux

The vast majority of cases of halitosis caused by the bacteria that reside in the mouth. However, scientists believe that in a small percentage percent of patients, bad breath can be caused by the presence of a GI disease such as gastroesophageal resuscitation disease (GERD) that is the condition where the contents of the stomach leak upwards into the esophagus.

A 2007 study released in the Journal of Oral Diseases found that bad breath was more frequent in people suffering from GERD than people with other digestive issues, perhaps due to the fact that the condition can harm the tissue in the throat of an individual.


Avoid eating foods that can trigger acid reflux. This includes spicy food and drinks, as well as fruit juices and the caffeine in coffee. 

Foods with a high content of fiber can help your digestion flow smoothly and helps prevent the reflux. In lieu of drinking a sour, sweet drink, sipping (still and without carbonation) water will be less a burden to digest and assist in washing away bacteria that cause a stink.

12. Strep The Throat

The Strep is the name of a bacteria-based infection and not a virus, and the invading bugs could make your breath smell unpleasant, according to the doctor Dr. Grbic. It’s not just that, different types of sinus infection may develop into bacterial infections that create an unpleasant, pus-like type of mucus. (Sorry for the image.)

Additionally, certain illnesses are also related to certain varieties of bacteria recognized to cause a particular unpleasant odor inside a person’s mouth.


To remove any bacteria within your mouth, scrub your teeth every day by scraping your tongue every time, and then gargling with water following each meal.

13. Poor Digestive Health

A healthy digestive system is crucial for optimal overall health. Within your digestive system, you’ll find millions of helpful bacteria that affect various body functions including your immune system.

Studies have shown that approximately 81% of your body’s immune system’s functions are located within your digestive tract. 

The ratio of gut bacteria that are good and bad bacteria is an important indicator of of your well-being. 

Your gut needs to have an equilibrium of around 85 percent healthy bacteria and 15 percent of bad. 

A mismatch between the good bacteria and those that are bad could lead to a variety of health issues that are more severe than bad breath or body smell.

The gut flora that isn’t optimal could cause you to be at risk of ailments that are that are linked by bad breath. A smell of fish in your breath could indicate kidney issues and fruity breath could indicate an uncontrolled case of diabetes.


This is the reason why reseeding your colon with good bacteria can be crucial to ensure optimal health and prevention. 

However, before I outline the steps needed to aid you in this first, you need to know the way the food you diet plays a major influence on the health of the gut bacteria.

14. Compromised Immunity

The foundation of health is a functioning immune system. Our immune system builds antibodies to shield the body from being absorbed by pathogens.

Many auto-immune disorders and any period of weakening immunity can lead to the condition of halitosis. 

This is due to the fact that the bad bacteria that reside within the mouth aren’t being dealt with properly by the immune system.


In the end there is a significant connection with the immune system as well as the health of your teeth. If you think this might be the case, keep building your immunity through gentle exercise along with good sleep as well as other healthy living habits.