Approximately one in four individuals have bad breath, which is medically known as halitosis. Furthermore, this is the third most popular reason that people seek out dental care.

Do you have halitosis? If so, the first thing you should do is learn what causes bad breath, as it will help you decide whether you need to change your habits or seek medical care.

This post will help you learn about common bad breath causes, so keep reading to find out what they are!

Poor Dental Hygiene

Poor Dental Hygiene

Among the most popular bad breath sources is poor dental hygiene. So if you’re asking yourself, “why does my breath stink?” it’s time to examine your habits.

If you don’t brush at least two times a day and floss regularly, food particles can build up, creating bacteria and plaque. Eventually, this plaque can irritate your gums and lead to periodontitis.

Moreover, your tongue can trap bacteria, so don’t forget to brush it too! And, if you have dentures or Invisalign trays, you’ll want to clean them often so that they don’t develop any bacteria.


Another common reason for bad breath is an oral infection. So, if you have foul breath along with tooth sensitivity or pain, you may be experiencing tooth decay. And, if you have recently had oral surgery, contact your dentist right away.

Certain Foods

The particles of any food can cause bad breath without proper brushing. Yet, you can’t brush the smell of garlic, onions, and other spices away. That’s because these foods enter your bloodstream and, later, your lungs, causing bad breath no matter how much you brush.

Of course, eventually, the odor will go away. But, if these foods cause bad breath often, you may want to avoid them altogether.


Many smokers note that using tobacco affects their breath and that it causes a distinct odor. But, if you smoke and your breath continues to worsen over time, it may be due to gum disease, for which smoking makes you vulnerable.

Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth

Saliva plays a crucial role in cleansing the mouth, so if your mouth is especially dry, you may find your breath smells worse than normal. Typically, this happens at night, especially if you sleep with your mouth open. And, it’s the cause of morning breath.

However, if your mouth dries out during the day, you may have chronic dry mouth. Moreover, it may be a side effect for one of the medications you take, so speak to your doctor.

Other Health Conditions

One final cause of bad breath that isn’t related to oral health is medical disorders. Certain diseases can cause your body to produce abnormal chemicals, which lead to distinctive odors. Some examples include:

  • Cancers
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

So, if you have any of these diseases, be sure to ask your doctor for suggestions on how you can improve your halitosis.

And, no matter the reason for your bad breath, you can use mouthwash and special products such as those sold at to improve it.

Now You Know What Causes Bad Breath

Now You Know What Causes Bad Breath

After reading this post, you know what causes bad breath, and hopefully, you have pinpointed the cause of your halitosis. If so, it’s time to take action so you can improve both your breath and your oral health.

Nevertheless, if you are still asking yourself, “why do I have bad breath?” it’s time to visit the dentist! They’ll help you get to the bottom of the problem!

For expert health and wellness tips, check out more of our articles!

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