Why is My Breath Bad? 5 Surprising Causes of Bad Breath

We all get bad breath from time to time. Spicy food, tobacco, coffee, poor oral hygiene— these are just some of the common causes of halitosis we’ve all seen or experienced. However, there are many possibilities behind the condition that may not be so obvious and yet are more concerning.

If you have bad breath you can’t quite explain, especially if it persists and is beginning to restrict you socially, consider the following surprising causes:

Low-Carb Diet

When your diet barely includes carbohydrates, your body runs on fats and releases ketones into your bloodstream. The problem is that these ketones can also find their way into your breath, giving you that distinct halitosis that comes with low carb consumption. Obviously this is not an oral hygiene issue, so no amount of extra brushing, flossing, or tongue scraping will do. The good news is, you don’t have to quit your low-carb diet either. Ketosis-related halitosis can be managed simply with sugarless gum or mints, especially the bacteria-fighting xylitol, and increased water intake to dilute the ketones.


Drugs are another less known cause of halitosis, and there are two ways they affect your breath. First, they cause the release of odorous body chemicals that can leak through your mouth; and second, they decrease the production of saliva, whose antibacterial action keeps your breath smelling fresh. Many medicines can cause halitosis, especially when taken long-term, including antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, migraine medications, and even certain vitamin supplements. Fortunately, just like ketosis-related bad breath, drug-induced halitosis can be managed with sugarless gum and mints and by drinking more water to keep the mouth hydrated.

Being Sick (Cold, Strep Throat, Sinusitis, Etc.)

We’ve all experienced colds, strep throat and sinusitis, but we don’t always think of them as causes of halitosis. They are, and so are a host of other respiratory illnesses that deposit infected mucus at the back of the throat, making our breath stink when we breathe from the mouth. Generally speaking, we emit odors when we’re ill simply because our immune systems are on overdrive. It’s nature’s signal that someone is sick and needs attention, or that we should back off to protect ourselves from the contagion. Even animals are documented to have this ability to smell illness, whether in humans or other animals.

Alcohol Consumption

When we drink too much alcohol, our bodies treat the substance as a toxin and convert it to less harmful chemicals to protect us from its damaging effects. About 90% of the alcohol we consume gets converted to acetic acid, and that’s what causes bad breath following an alcohol binge. It goes without saying that if you drink too much too often, the halitosis will stick around longer. Not all kinds of alcoholic drinks cause bad breath equally though, but you’ll want to stay away from liqueurs, certain aromatic blends, or alcohol altogether.

Heartburn and GERD

In gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus and cause a painful sensation known as heartburn. But that’s not what causes GERD-related bad breath. Remember that your stomach contains undigested food, acids, and bile. When they escape into your esophagus, which leads all the way to your mouth, you get bad breath. Managing GERD-related bad breath is therefore as simple as managing your GERD; for example, eating smaller meals or waiting a few hours to lie down after you eat. Ask your doctor for tips.

Learn More at Lake Pointe Dental Group in O’Fallon

While bad breath is generally harmless, it can signal something more important, such as a lifestyle problem or even a serious disease that must be addressed. By knowing that halitosis can be caused by many other factors, such as carb consumption, medicines, respiratory illnesses, alcohol, or heartburn, you know the condition must never be taken for granted. Of course, it helps to have a family dentist to appease your concerns and help you find the right solutions to your bad breath woes. Oral health care goes beyond treating halitosis or its causes, after all. It’s about providing comprehensive family dental care that includes installing crowns, dental implants, or any other needed interventions.

If you’re looking for an O’Fallon, Il dentist or an emergency dentist O’Fallon Il, in particular, Lake Pointe Dental is a trusted name in the city’s family dentistry industry. Reach out today!

What Causes Tooth Loss in Adults?

For a young child, the sudden loss of a tooth means the tooth fairy will visit and leave goodies behind! Tooth loss—a cause for celebration as a child—feels far different when you’re an adult.

At best, losing a tooth means a trip to the dentist, and necessary interventions to set things right. At worst, losing a tooth may permanently affect your appearance, resulting in a loss of self esteem.

So, what can you do to protect your own smile? Here are some of the most common causes of tooth loss in adults and ways to address them. Lake Pointe Dental Group can help you protect your smile!

Gum Disease

One of the most common causes of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. No matter what your age, healthy gums are an essential part of dental care, and neglecting those vital structures may have devastating consequences.

The reason gums are so vital is easy to understand: your gums hold your teeth in place. If those gums are compromised by advanced disease, your teeth can loosen and eventually fall out. Dr. Harold Bean and Dr. Richard Greiff provide regular, thorough examinations at Lake Pointe Dental Group in O’Fallon, Illinois. Gum disease is relatively easy to treat in its early stages, but the longer you wait the more your teeth will be at risk. The team at Lake Pointe Dental provides cleanings, can offer advice on the best toothpastes to use in each individual case, and refer to a periodontist for specialized treatment. The sooner you schedule an appointment with Lake Pointe Dental Group, the sooner you start protecting your precious smile.

Sports Injuries

Not all tooth loss is related to poor oral hygiene or undetected gum disease. Sports injuries can also take a toll on your smile.

If you play sports, especially contact sports, you need to protect your teeth. Wearing a mouthguard is a good place to start, and there are other sport-specific dental appliances you can use as well. If you do lose a tooth playing football, hockey, or another favorite sport, prompt dental attention could restore your smile and help prevent further damage. Having a tooth knocked out is an urgent situation; your first call should be to Dr. Bean and Dr. Greiff in O’Fallon.

Unattended Cavities

In many cases, intense pain will signal you have a cavity in your mouth. When you take a drink or try to eat, the exposed nerve lets you know something is wrong. In other cases, a cavity may not be so obvious.

Sometimes cavities do not create toothache pain; that makes a problem easy to miss. Undetected or untreated cavities can lead to tooth loss. Dr. Bean, Dr. Greiff, and the Lake Pointe Dental team of hygienists detect cavities at the earliest stages when treatment is simple. It is important to see a dentist twice a year.

Do yourself and your smile a favor; schedule your next examination today. In many cases, prompt action can prevent the loss of a tooth. Even if the tooth is too far gone, you can restore your smile with dental implants.

Contact Lake Pointe Dental Group

Knowing what causes tooth loss in adults is key to maintaining good oral health and your appearance. Lake Pointe Dental Group schedules emergency exams, comprehensive exams and cleanings, and regular appointments.

If your smile has already been compromised by a prior tooth loss, Dr. Bean and Dr. Greiff will develop a treatment plan to help you recover. It is never too early or too late for quality family dental care. Request an appointment at Lake Pointe Dental Group!