5 Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath can be very unpleasant, especially for the people near you. It can have a strong pungent odor that others may not appreciate. There are several things that cause bad breath. Here are the top 5 reasons people get bad breath.

1. A Dirty Mouth

The American Dental Association says “Ninety percent of mouth odors come from mouth, either from the food you eat or bacteria that’s already there. Mouth odor is like any other body odor, the result of microbes living in the body giving off byproducts.”

2. Dry Mouth

Certain mouth conditions can exacerbate bacterial growth and odor, such as gum disease and dry mouth. Gum disease causes bloody gums, creating more elements for bacteria to putrefy. Dry mouth is the more common cause of bad breath. Saliva helps flush out the mouth, keeping bacteria moving so they don’t settle down and multiply, while drier mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria.

3. Stinky Foods

If it stinks going in, chances are it’s going to stink coming out. The obvious offenders are onions, garlic, alcohol and tobacco.

4. Not Enough Carbs

High-protein, low-carb diets cause your body to burn stored fats for fuel instead of carbs and can lead to a condition called ketosis. As fat burns, ketones build up in the body, and some are released through breath. Unfortunately, ketones don’t smell particularly good.

5. Illness

Occasionally, bad breath can be a sign of a more serious illness. The most common systemic causes of bad breath are diabetes or GERD (or gastro esophageal reflux disease). Diabetes can also cause ketosis, and the resulting bad breath is sometimes one of first symptoms that lead to diagnosis. Less common but possible are liver or kidney disease, when toxins from these organs are excreted through the lungs, causing bad breath.


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by Thomas Gonzales D.D.S.

Thomas Gonzales D.D.S. is a Los Angeles dentist with advanced training in dental implants. He has 46 years’ experience and is licensed in IV Sedation. Dr. Gonzales has taught courses worldwide on dental implants including for Noris Medical, Nobel, Neodent, LVI Global and Dental Implant Institute. He was a professor of IV Sedation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine and a neuromuscular dentistry instructor for Loma Linda Medical Center. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including: the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. Dr. Gonzales is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. He served in the United States Army and is a Vietnam War Veteran.

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