Home Teeth and mouthBad breath What Causes Bad Breath Even After Brushing? and its treatment

What Causes Bad Breath Even After Brushing? and its treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, can be due to multiple reasons and not just poor dental hygiene. Therefore, it is understandable that even when you brush your teeth several times a day you can still have this problem.

Bad condition of teeth, digestive diseases, problems in the pharynx, bad eating habits, smoking are some of the most frequent reasons.

If you want to know why you have bad breath even if you brush your teeth , then continue reading the following article from FastlyHeal .

Bad breath from dental and oral problems

The alteration in the bacterial flora of the mouth with an increase in anaerobic bacteria or a fungus called candida. This is one of the most common causes of bad breath, which is usually worsened by inflammation of the gums ( gingivitis ) and the use of mouthwashes that kill bacteria, causing opportunistic microorganisms to increase. These bacteria generate compounds (mercaptans and sulfides) that cause odor.

This also happens if the dentures are not cleaned properly.

On the other hand, if you have teeth in poor condition, it is expected that you suffer from halitosis, even when you brush your teeth over and over again. You may also feel discomfort when chewing, with very cold or very hot food, or pain.

Another possible reason is a lack of saliva , caused by poorly functioning salivary glands or dehydration . In older people who consume little fluids, it is usually seen that there is less saliva production, which favors bad breath.

A decrease in salivation also occurs with some medications such as antidepressants, anxiolytics or antihypertensives.

What to do?

Hygiene not only of the teeth, but also of the gums and tongue is recommended. To clean the latter, it is convenient to do it by dragging (with a spoon or dental floss), since brushing spreads the bacteria through the mouth.

You should visit a dental specialist at least once a year or sooner if you have any of these symptoms. It is necessary to check the mouth to rule out possible problems.

Good nutrition and hydration are key to improving body flora, including that of the mouth.

Halitosis due to diseases in the pharynx

The most common cause of bad breath from pharyngeal problems is in the tonsils. Due to their anatomy, these structures are cryptic, which means that they are not smooth but have small caves. It is there where food debris or detritus typical of the amygdala can accumulate, causing bad breath.

This problem is quite common and is known as a caseum . You may notice that from time to time some white balls appear on the tonsils (which many confuse with bacterial plaques).

Another possibility is that there is an acute inflammation (due to infections, for example) or chronic (due to reflux or allergy), both in the tonsils and in the rest of the pharynx. This can lead to a buildup of mucus or foul discharge that results in permanent bad breath.

A pharyngeal tumor can also cause a bad odor, by itself or from radiation therapy treatment.


It depends on the cause:

  • Tonsillar caseum : You can try to correct the problem by improving your eating habits: whole grains, fruits and vegetables and healthier sweeteners such as whole sugar or honey, but this problem often ends in the operating room. Removing the tonsils can end your bad breath problem, but since there can also be other causes at the same time, it is not always definitive. All causes should be ruled out before having a tonsillectomy.
  • Pharyngeal inflammation : if the problem is due to acid reflux from the stomach, it is best to follow a treatment and especially change eating habits. Improving your diet is also key to improving allergic problems and reducing the size of your tonsils and adenoids. Anti-inflammatory treatments can also be tried or even surgery may be possible in some cases.
  • In the case of a tumor , treatment must be carried out to reduce the size of the tumor or to remove it by surgery. If the case were radiotherapy, it is expected that after a while salivation will improve and the structures will heal, which should improve halitosis.

Halitosis from bad eating habits

As we have seen, diet plays a key role not only at the digestive level but also at the general level. Consuming excessively processed products (with colorants, preservatives, sweeteners, etc.), can lead to a state of body inflammation.

On the other hand, the bad combination of foods , even healthy, can cause bad breath. Eating fruit with or after food results in fermentation in the digestive tract. This generates a bad odor that is eliminated through the mouth.

On the other hand, an excess of meat is also a cause of halitosis. The meat is digested very slowly and generates residues (cadaverine and putrescine) that not only generate bad breath, but also cause flatulence, bloating and can accumulate favoring the appearance of chronic diseases.

The reflux and heartburn are also generators bad breath. Eating large amounts of food, going to bed after eating, drinking fluids along with food, consuming carbonated beverages, the consumption of alcohol and tobacco are all factors that favor these types of problems.

If you want to improve your habits, you should pay more attention not only to what you eat but to how you do it.

Rhinosinus diseases

The acute and chronic rhinosinusitis can generate very bad breath. Permanently swallowing mucus, headaches, yellowish or greenish nasal discharge, and not feeling odors are some of the most important symptoms.

Nasal foreign bodies, tumors, or choanal atresia can also smell bad.

Treatment will depend on the cause:

  • If it is a bacterial rhinosinusitis, in most cases, an antibiotic is needed.
  • If the cause is allergic, you will need local anti-inflammatories and improve your eating habits.
  • If a fungus causes rhinosinus inflammation, you may even need surgery.

The nasal washes are important in all cases.

Smoking as a cause of bad breath

The effects of smoking in terms of tissue degeneration and cancer production are well known. Regular tobacco use generates chronic inflammation from the mouth to the lungs. This increases the production of mucus and favors the appearance of bad breath.

The only solution is to quit smoking. You can permanently brush your teeth, use mouthwashes, or chew peppermint gum, but you’ll never get rid of that bad taste and breath if you don’t change your habits.

Other diseases that can cause bad breath

Other conditions that can cause your breath to smell even if you brush your teeth include:

Digestive diseases

Esophageal diverticula, digestive tract tumors, or malabsorption syndromes can cause bad breath, but it is not very common. In the case of tumors or malabsorption, there may also be weight loss or abdominal pain.

A gastroenteritis with diarrhea or vomiting can cause a bad smell in the mouth as well.

Severe liver or kidney failure

In both cases, the body is very sick. Bad breath is just one of many other symptoms.


Ketone breath, similar to apples, that a person with diabetes expels is typical.

In all cases, bad breath can only be combated by treating the underlying disease.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I have bad breath even though I brush my teeth , we recommend that you enter our Teeth and mouth category .

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