Bad breath could be linked to these health problems

The thing about having bad breath is that no one would tell you that you have it, unless they are

The thing about having bad breath is that no one would tell you that you have it, unless they are the direct type. Being told that you have bad breath can be very embarrassing but it’s the health problems that could be linked to it that you should be aware of. You’ve probably heard that eating stinky food like onion, garlic and coffee, and also smoking makes the breath stink, but there are other things that cause it too.


Did you know that dehydration was another big reason your breath smells?

“Being dehydrated means that you do not produce as much saliva as usual,” says Dental Advisor Karen Coates to  Good Housekeeping. “Saliva is the mouth’s natural way of fighting bacteria, as it has antibacterial properties. Without it the bacteria, which cause bad breath, can grow rapidly.”


Dr. Stanley stresses that not all bad breath problems are an indicator of bad teeth. “If you have sweet, fruity smelling breath, for example, it could mean you have diabetes,” said Dr Miguel.

Kidney problems

“Ammonia smelling breath could mean kidney issues,” he added. It’s important to rule out any oral health problems from your dentist before seeking other medical advice. If bad breath persists when you are certain you have no dental issues, Dr. Miguel recommends visiting an ear, nose and throat specialist to see if you have any sinus problems, and also with a gastroenterologist to make sure everything is okay with the digestive tract.

Sjögren’s syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome is a disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s moisture-producing glands. This disease may cause the tear and saliva glands to become scarred and damaged, and it can cause exceptional dryness in the eyes and mouth which could lead to bad breath.


Sinusitis is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses. When sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid and germs (bacteria, viruses, and fungi), an infection can happen where bad breath is one of the symptoms.

Experts say that flossing is incredibly important on top of brushing.

How to stop bad breath

The biggest cause of bad breath is bacteria in your mouth, if you don’t brush your teeth enough. Karen says, “Food, debris and plaque can get stuck in and around the teeth and it will eventually break down causing bad breath gases.”

“Brushing alone can clean up to 60% of the surface of your teeth so clean in-between the teeth once a day using interdental brushes, tape or floss,” she said.

If you have bad breath, try these tips…

1. Have regular check-ups with your dentist to make sure your gums are healthy and you have no plaque.

2. Ensuring fillings and crowns are perfectly adapted to tooth structure.

3. Clean your tongue for two minutes last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with fluoride toothpaste.

4. Chew sugar-free gum, as it helps your mouth produce saliva and stops it drying out. A dry mouth can lead to bad breath.

5. Keep a food diary and list any medications you’re taking and take the diary to the dentist, who could suggest ways to solve the problem.

How often do you see your dentist? Do you stay away from certain foods?

  1. Jennifer May  

    I recommend using a tongue scraper every morning, first thing when you get out of bed, before even a drink. They’re only $10 at some health food shops (Mrs Flannery’s, if you’re in Brisbane). And no, the ridged back of some toothbrushes does not do the job. The first few times, the gunk you will scrape off your tongue will be so disgusting you will swear never to swallow it down with a cuppa again. After that, you’ll find your mouth and tongue feel cleaner, and your breath will be sweeter.

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