What Your Bad Breath Says About Your Health

Chances are, you’re brushing your teeth regularly like always, and you even know the basics when it comes to keeping your breath minty-fresh so that you don’t have to deal with bad breath. You brush your teeth, then you floss, and perhaps even do a quick rinse with mouthwash for a few times in a day. After all, who doesn’t want to have stinky garlic breath (especially if you have that date coming up tonight). But what happens if you’ve already popped a mint into your mouth and your breath continues to reek? Then perhaps it needs something more than just candy or a quick mouthwash rinse.

What Your Bad Breath Says About Your Health

Bad Breath Might Lead to Something More

Poor oral hygiene is not the most common cause of bad breath, according to Harold Katz, DDS, a bacteriologist, a dentist, and founder of the California Breath Clinics. The most common reason for your stinky breath is because of a dry mouth. When our mouths do not have enough moisture, then the bacteria found in it will thrive. “When you sleep at night there’s little or no saliva production. That’s what causes dryness and morning breath,” says Katz.

But if morning breath is just your only issue, then the fact is you don’t really have a major problem as all you have to do is brush your teeth and perhaps gargle with some mouthwash. However, there are many people who do have dry mouth that lingers all day, and with that they will have a stronger case of bad breath than others. This is often thanks to some kind of medication that they’re taking. “Seventy-five percent of prescription drugs, including antidepressants, antihistamines, and blood pressure drugs, have dry mouth as a side effect,” explains Katz.

Therefore, if you see people constantly backing away at you while holding their noses, it is not that you’ve said anything offensive to them, it might be just your stinky breath primarily because of the meds your doctor prescribed to you. If this is the case, and you don’t want this side-effect to linger, then you can sip on more water, or chew on sugarless gum, or you can even switch to a different medicine if that helps.

However, there are cases wherein bad breath is deemed as a signal for something worse. For instance, if your breath smells like mothballs, then you might have post-nasal drip, a sinus infection, or allergies. If your breath smells fruity (but not the good kind), then it might be a signal that you have diabetes. If you’re unsure as to the cause of your stinky breath, better consult with a professional in the medicinal field.