Why Do I Have Chronic Bad Breath?

Bad breath is a common and easily treatable condition that can arise from several different factors. It might have been something as simple as having eaten something specific or a symptom of some serious oral or medical problem. Covered below are several common causes of bad breath.

Lacking Oral Hygiene

Failure to regularly clean the teeth and mouth leads to bacterial growth from lingering food particles. Even the erratic surfaces of the tongue and tonsils can trap food and bacteria.

Pungent Foods

Anything containing onion, garlic or certain spices can cause odoriferous food particles to hit the bloodstream and then the lungs, escaping with its smelly potency through a person’s exhalation.


The intense flavor of coffee and its salivation-limiting chemistry means that a person gives odor-causing bacteria more time to do their work after a cup of coffee. Alcohol also slows down the body’s ability to generate anti-bacterial saliva.

High-Sugar Diets

Bacteria eat sugar, meaning a high-sugar diet gives them plenty of time to turn the sweet stuff entering a mouth into foul stuff leaving that mouth.

High-Protein/Low-Carb Diets

A lack of carbs leads to a tweaked metabolism with bad breath as one possible consequence. Conversely, food rich in protein can be difficult to digest, leading to a buildup of sulfurous gasses that can reach up and escape the mouth as bad breath. One can avoid both of these problems with a balanced diet that features vegetables and herbs.


Tobacco products lead to bad breath and other oral problems.If you smoke, chew tobacco or even vape, you may find that chronic bad breath develops.

Digestive Issues

Bad digestion, constipation, and disorders of the bowels can all lead to bad breath. Odors generated from frequent bouts of acid reflux can also permeate up through the esophagus and out the mouth.

Dry Mouth

Much like people who frequently imbibe alcohol or coffee, people with dry mouths, whether through a medical condition or as a side effect of prescription medications, have a hard time keeping bacteria from going to town on their mouths and producing bad breath.


This covers the most common causes of bad breath. By being mindful of one’s diet and practicing good oral hygiene, most people can get rid of their unpleasant mouth odor. For the people who find even those actions insufficient, it may be a good idea to see a dentist for an oral checkup.


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