Causes of Bad Breath

Question: What are the causes of bad breath? This is a problem I've been dealing with for a large portion of my life. I'm very self conscious about my breath. I find that even though I brush my teeth every morning, my breath still ends up smelling stale very early in the day. I know that certain foods like garlic and onion create a foul odor, but even when I stay away from those food, my breath still smells bad. I feel like I'm the only person with this problem. I have never heard anyone else complain about their breath. What causes this problem and how can I cure or prevent it?

bad breath

Research shows that some offenders are unaware that they have bad breath, while others believe themselves to have a breath problem when they really don't.

Answer: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Although bad breath, or halitosis, affects about half the population-it does not make for very good dinner conversation. You will probably never hear people openly discussing this common but very embarrassing problem. Here are a few of the common causes of bad breath.

Mouth Bacteria

There are many causes of bad breath. The most common cause of bad breath is oral bacterial disease (gingivitis and periodontitis) and the accumulation of bacteria on the tongue.

Life Style Choices and illness

Another common cause of bad breath (although not as common as oral bacteria) is diet, dehydration, poor digestion, and gut bacteria.

Other less common but not impossible causes of bad breath include illnesses like sinusitis, tonsillitis, lower respiratory infections, and diabetes.

Smoking is another cause of bad breath. Smoking can cause and worsen bacteria in the mouth and gum disease. Smoking also dries out the mouth and as stated above, a dry mouth is a breeding ground for oral bacteria.

Low-Carb Diet

Are you on a low-carb diet, either intentional or naturally? (Some people just tend to eat a high protein diet) If so, you could be setting yourself up for bad breath. A low-carb diet can cause ketosis and excess ammonia in the breath, both are causes of bad breath.

When on a low-carb diet, the body uses more fat as a energy source. This process generates molecules called ketones. Acetone is one type of ketone that is excreted through both the urine and breath. The excretion of acetone can cause your breath to smell like rotten fruit.

Also, the excess breaking down of protein when on a low-carb diet causes ammonia. When the body metabolizes protein a small amount of ammonia is produced. With a low-carb diet, where protein is the main food source, there is increased ammonia on the breath which can end up smelling pretty bad.

What You Can Do About Bad Breath.

Good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing is essential. Tongue scraping and tongue brushing should be part of your teeth brushing routine. You have to clean the surface of the tongue to prevent bacteria build up, especially the back of the tongue. Brushing soon after eating fish, meat, or milk is thought to remove protein that would otherwise promote mouth bacteria.

Keep your dental appointments. Having your teeth cleaned regularly by a professional along with daily brushing is essential in preventing gum diseases like gingivitis which can cause bad breath.

Be sure to drink plenty of water everyday. A dry mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. Water also flushes toxins out of the body and aids in many body functions, including digestion.

Certain medications can also cause dry mouth. This is another reason why drinking a sufficient amount of water is so important. Chewing a sugar free gum or cinnamon flavored gum is another way to get increase the production of saliva.

Remedies and Supplements to Prevent Bad Breath


Digestive enzymes help digest heavier protein foods, and thus reduce protein breakdown by bacteria. Also, because it is more difficult for the body to break down heavy proteins, the process takes longer. This process creates odorous gases which build up in the gut and can be smelled through the mouth.

Probiotics or healthy bacteria, helps balance the microflora (the good bacteria) in your colon. Probiotics help to keep the colon functioning properly and promote the removal of odorous waste and toxins that can build up in the body and become one of the causes of bad breath.

Zinc containing mouthwashes are effective at reducing plaque in the mouth and around the gum line.

Vitamin C helps the gums heal from gum disease.

Home Remedies

Bloodroot is a small plant that is a natural aid against bad breath. This herbal treatment has been proven to reduce plaque buildup and kill bacteria.

Avocado is an effective remedy for bad breath. Avocado is effective in removing decomposed animal proteins in the intestinal tract, which is one of the most important causes of bad breath.

Parsley mouthwash is easy to make and is very effective in fighting the causes of bad breath. Boil two cups of water with several sprigs of chopped parsley. Let the mixture cool then strain it. Use the mixture as a gargle or mouthwash during the day.

Juicing is a great way to go the nutrients needed to maintain optimal health. Raw and fresh fruit and vegetable juices are beneficial in treating the causes of bad breath and beneficial in health body function. Include plenty of green vegetables in your juice recipes because they are especially helpful in fighting bad breath.

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