5 Ways We Can Learn From Bad Breath

We already know eating food with onions or a late afternoon coffee run can result in quite the unpleasant experience for those who talk to us, but is there more to breathe than your last meal?

Clearing out bad breath through brushing your teeth or taking a breath mint is simple, but uncovering the underlying causes of bad breath can give us a wealth of information about our general health and hygiene—while providing us with ways to combat the odor.

We’ll be going over just five ways we can uncover the cause of our bad breath, fix it, and discover problems we might not have even thought about beforehand.

  1. Dental Hygiene

The most common reason for a horrid stench from the mouth is from ineffective hygienic habits, or a lack thereof.

For this and other items on our list, we’ll be consulting the Mayo Clinic unless noted otherwise.

Those who attend regular dentists appointments will often hear concerns about flossing and constant brushing of the teeth, and for a good reason. Food particles lodged either in the back of the molars or in between teeth will begin to rot over time in the mouth—releasing a sulfuric odor and eventually eating away at naturally occurring enamel.

Plaque and periodontitis can also develop, producing serious odors and equally serious hygienic risks. If you are experiencing bad breath alongside yellowing teeth and cannot remember your previous dentist’s appointment, it is definitely long overdue to pay them a visit.

  1. Infections

Likewise, and often as a result of poor dental hygiene—infections in the mouth can leave similar issues of odor.

Infections in the mouth are very much similar to infections on other areas of the body—and these locations are prone to further disease and complications when exposed to bacteria. By nature of the location, infections in the mouth are prone to constant exposure to foods that might possibly have been properly sanitized.

Infections can also occur after invasive surgeries like the removal of wisdom tooth or placement of a crown. In either case, setting up a dentist’s appointment at your earliest convenience will help you combat your dental health needs with a licensed professional.

Infections can be combated with antibiotics or other medications prescribed to you by a doctor as well. Those who need constant medication for infections and the treatment of bad breath alike may also be interested in finding ways to save on prescription delivery.

If you’re in the New York area, you can take advantage of Medly to receive medication at home with no extra costs or fees.

  1. Sinus Inflammation

Bad breath (or halitosis) is a problem in and of itself—but could also represent a symptom of an issue that extends beyond the mouth.

Mayo Clinic’s studies on Acute Sinusitis shows us that bad breath can come as a result of ineffective drainage from the nasal cavities into the stomach or otherwise out of the body. Acute Sinusitis and other infections and states of the sinuses are important to treat early and often, so don’t ignore bad breath outright.

If you are experiencing bad breath on top of otherwise-innocuous symptoms like a stuffy nose or general fatigue, there may be more at play than seasonal allergies or a head cold. Compare your symptoms to other diseases and issues, exercise caution when exposing yourself to irritants and pollens, and consult a professional before administering treatment via medication.

  1. Acid Reflux

Alongside symptoms such as generalized nausea or respiratory problems, bad breath can be an indication of acid reflux conditions.

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) notes that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)  can be determined by the above symptoms alongside heartburn, and can lead to nasty complications if left untreated.

Those at an increased genetic risk to acid reflux or those already aware of such issues in the past may need to take special precaution when noting bad breath alongside heartburn. While the smell may be the result of a previous meal, if bad breath returns within minutes of taking preventative action like brushing your teeth or flossing, you may be dealing with a greater issue.

GERD and similar disorders must be treated professionally, but consider altering your diet to combat heartburn and exercise to promote a healthier digestive system alongside treatment. One useful tip for alleviating some of the symptoms of acid reflux is to take a tablespoon of cider vinegar. It can help to break down fatty foods that can be the culprit of heartburn. As an added bonus, cider vinegar helps regulate blood pressure fluxuations.

  1. Metabolic Disorders

Finally, a host of metabolic disorders stem from the discovery of bad breath when inappropriate or otherwise unexplained.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) explains through recent studies that metabolic disorders can often coat the tongue in a thin film—which can be the primary cause of bad odors from the mouth. Potential metabolic disorders that affect breath ranges from renal disease, cirrhosis of the liver, to even some forms of cancer.

Of course, none of this is to say that your bad breath is a result of cancer—but rather, bad breath can range from causes as harmless as food and as insidious as a degenerative disease. Fear of bad breath as a representation of further illnesses must be properly noted by a doctor and approached scientifically in order to determine validity of cause.

However, those who already know of pre-existing metabolic conditions may take some solace in knowing that their bad breath is not necessarily a result of bad hygiene. In treatment of these diseases, speak to professionals about ways to reduce your diseases’ influence on your breath—for social reasons, if not any others.


Bad breath is harmless. Aside from repelling friends and potential partners, regular brushing, flossing, and cleaning of the tongue will reduce your symptoms and treat your bad breath.

Roughly a tenth of the adult population in the United States reports suffering from bad breath as well, so jumping to conclusions may not be scientifically valid or wise when so many others suffer no further complications.

However, bad breath can come in conjunction of other diseases far more affecting than your odor, so it’s important to point out that there may be an underlying cause. As always, exercise reason, consult professionals—and go ahead and take that extra breath mint.

What ways do you do to banish bad breath? And how do you prevent it to make it better? Leave us a comments with your thoughts in the section below.