10 reasons why your breath smells

We all have experienced bad breath, haven’t we? It does create a negative impact on the people around us.

Ok. So here are 10 reasons why your breath could possibly smell. Cavities and gum diseases are just one of them. Visit your doctor for any of these problems and get timely intervention.

Reason 1: Decayed teeth and gum disease

One of the top reasons for having bad breath is decayed teeth and gum disease. If you have black spots on teeth, there is a good chance they are decayed. You may have gum problems if your teeth are moving if there is bleeding on brushing or swelling in the gums. Bacteria multiply in these cavities or in the gums and release substances that smell bad. Visit your dentist routinely once in six months. He/she will help you identify cavities or gum problems you didn’t know existed.

Reason 2: Tongue problems

The tongue has an irregular surface and if not brushed properly can cause food accumulation and eventually, bad breath. You could also have tongue problems, which you did not know existed, that is causing bad breath. Visit a dentist and let him/her examine you and help you find a solution.

Reason 3: Dryness of the mouth

In spite of not having decayed teeth, gum or tongue problems, you may experience bad breath. Think if you have dryness of the mouth? If you do, then even that could also be a strong cause of bad breath. Drying of the mouth causes bacteria to multiply which release foul-smelling substances. If there is dryness, there could be an underlying systemic problem. Do not ignore this problem and visit your dentist.

Reason 4: Common cold and sinusitis

Apart from dental problems, infection of the ear, nose, and throat can also cause bad breath. You may not be able to swallow food properly, have a running nose or a persistent cough. Visit your ENT who will check you for the same.

Reason 5: Kidney problems

Kidney problems increase toxins in the blood because they aren’t filtered out properly. This is generally found in people with a kidney infection or kidney failure. Let your physician or nephrologist do the needful. When the kidney problem subsides, the bad breath will automatically reduce.

Reason 6: Liver problems

Sometimes, liver problems can also give you bad breath such as infections or cirrhosis. Once you are treated, the condition is reversed and bad breath reduces.

Reason 7: Diabetes

Diabetes gives bad breath. Sometimes, that could be the only clue in identifying that you have diabetes. Visit your physician and get your blood sugar checked routinely for timely action.

Reason 8: Lung problems

Even lung infection can give you bad breath. You may have other problems like the tightness of the chest and the inability to breathe. Treating the lung problem will automatically resolve bad breath.

Reason 9: Hormonal imbalance

An increase in the hormonal level can develop bad breath. Typically seen in women during pregnancy. Nothing to worry about. Nausea and foul odor will reduce post pregnancy.

Reason 10: Medicines, eating smelly foods.

Some antibiotics can cause bad breath and taste in the mouth. Once the course is completed, the bad breath will resolve. Food items like onions have a typical smell. Rinse well after you eat this to prevent bad breath. Smoking and tobacco chewing also are reasons for the foul odor.


Bad breath can help you find diseases in your body you didn’t know existed before. Consult your doctor/dentist for timely action. They will help you treat the reason you are developing bad breath.


About the author:
Dr. Paresh Lotlekar is the Founder and CEO at Studio32 Dental Care Pvt. Ltd., a chain of super specialty dental clinics in Goa. He has completed his BDS from Goa Dental College and Hospital and MDS in Periodontology and Oral Implantology from the prestigious KLE University, Belgaum. He offers passionate insight and smart advice on oral health and wellness through his blogs. Connect with him at drpareshlotlekar@gmail.com.

3 Thoughts to “10 reasons why your breath smells”

  1. Nice info to share love to read, Thanks Mr. Paresh latlekar, by the way my self Megha Vyas dentist at vadodara, Please visit my website Esthetica


  2. Another reason why you have bad breath is that you just woke up. Your saliva production slows down as you sleep, leaving you with a bad breath when you wake up.

  3. “10 reasons why your breath smells” good topic Dr. Paresh Lotlekar, thanks for sharing

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