Bad breath happens to the best of us, especially in the mornings! But what is actually causing bad breath and how can we prevent it? 

1. Food

A primary cause of bad breath is the type of food we are eating. Food such as fish, certain cheeses, garlic and onions can leave a lingering smell on your mouth. Although the smell is usually short lived, sometimes this food can get stuck in your teeth without you even realising. This promotes the growth of bacteria which causes longer lasting odors. 

If you are on a diet low in carbohydrates this can also cause what is called ‘ketone breath.’ The diet causes your body to burn fat as its energy source which ultimately causes a fruity acetone odor on your breath.

Tip - make sure you are brushing and flossing regularly, and always remember to brush your tongue.

2. Smoking or other Tobacco products

It may sound obvious but smoking, chewing tobacco and vaping can leave chemicals in your mouth that remain there and cause your breath to have a lasting odor.

Tip - if you do smoke, you can try sugar free chewing gum to mask the day to day smell, but this will only mask the smell.

3. Dry Mouth 

Many people suffer with a dry mouth, and saliva cleanses your mouth so when you’re not producing enough saliva it can cause bad breath. A dry mouth can be caused by prescription medications or breathing through your mouth too much.

Tip - try breathing out your nose more or chewing on sugar free gum. When you are chewing something it stimulates your saliva glands

4. Bacteria on your tongue

Your tongue has many grooves in it, particularly the back of your tongue, bacteria takes up residency in these grooves making it imperative that you clean your tongue just as well as you clean your teeth.

Tip - use a tongue scraper, these are not expensive and sold in most pharmacies.

5. Poor dental hygiene 

In general if you don’t practice good dental hygiene everyday bacteria will continue to grow in your mouth causing bad breath.

Tip - check out our top tips on taking care of your teeth at home 

Make sure you are keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This doesn’t just assist a healthy body but also assists healthy oral care. Also make sure you are conscious of what you are putting into your mouth and body and if you have any concerns go and see your dentist.


We all know how frustrating bad breath can be on a day to day basis but by following some basic oral hygiene rules you can help prevent that awkward feeling of someone smelling your bad breath!