Bad breath – if the cause is out of the mouth  

Bad breath is a sensitive topic: a lot of people think that the only causes are bad dental care and bad teeth. This is not the case at all. Bad breath can be the result of problems that are not related to the oral cavity. Let’s see them.

What causes the problem?

The main causes of bad breath are not only related to dental hygiene, the health of the teeth and gums but to other medical and dietetic issues too. As the mouth is in direct contact with the organs responsible for breathing and digestion bad breath can be connected with them.

Let’s see the most common causes that are not related to the oral cavity:


The most common cause of cancerous tumours is smoking. The basis for this is that one cigarette contains thousand of other compounds besides the ones stated on the pack. These compounds get to the lungs through the oral cavity and they flow to the other parts of the organs with the blood-stream. The smoke of the cigarette is absorbed through the mucous membrane causing medical problems and bad breath. The mouth of smokers is more often dries which also causes bad breath.

Stop smoking!

Stop smoking!


Bad breath is closely related to the food we eat: by eating food that contain onion, garlic or spices we can smell the difference immediately. It is advisable (after waiting for a while) to brush teeth, use a chewing gum or rinse with mouthwash. They can still have their effect during digestion.

Disease of the stomach and food pipe

The oral cavity is in close relationship with the food pipe and then the stomach. The infections in these places affect the mouth too. It is not necessarily an infection, the cause of bad breath can be the high gastric acid too.

Upper or lower respiratory diseases, infections

Similarly to the teeth, upper or lower respiratory diseases, the tonsils, the lungs can cause bad breath too. Bacteria get to the oral cavity by breathing and coughing.

Other diseases

Unfortunately, bad breath can be connected to other diseases too. The most common ones are diabetes (acetonic breath) and the various kinds of liver, kidney and small intestine diseases.


Other diseases and bad breath

Other diseases and bad breath


Some say taking medicine that contain antihistamines can also be the cause of bad breath. It is advisable to take these for a short period of time. If it is still present after you stop taking it, other causes should be looked for.

Summary: what can we do?

Some causes that are responsible for bad breath and are not related to the oral cavity can be easily avoided but most of them need to be treated medically. What we can do:


  • avoid smoking (and smoky places)
  • avoid taking antihistamines heavily
  • reduce gastric acid
  • visit a doctor with the problems in relation to digestion, breathing, kidney, liver and diabetes

Would you like to find out what you can do to prevent bad breath during the day? Find out the 10 simplest steps that help!

Contact us

If you have any inquiry or would like to have a consultation, please fill out this contact form.


Customer service awards

5 star treatment

1st Clinic

2nd in their global list
by Global Clinic Rating
Tibor Dental's score: 4.9/5

100% patients recommended clinic