General Question

Carly's avatar

Why does my friend have such bad breath?

Asked by Carly (4550points) November 10th, 2010

I have a friend who I’ve seen brushing her teeth many times! But her breath is sooo bad that I have to stand at least 2 feet away from her. I’m slightly considering the possibility that it’s because she’s a vegetarian, only because I’ve met 4 other veggies that also had bad breath.

Maybe it’s something else though. Could it be what she eats, or could it be something else?

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24 Answers

CMaz's avatar

Do they floss?

JilltheTooth's avatar

I would say it’s definitely not about being a vegetarian. Most of the Vegetarians I know have better breath, in general. It may be as simple as her not flossing properly. Bits can get stuck between teeth and rot there <gagging> and cause a really bad odor. She may also have a digestive condition (no, I don’t know details) that causes this.

lemming's avatar

I think a rotting tooth can cause bad breath too. I think you should tell her nicely, if you are good friends that is.

CMaz's avatar

You call this person a friend.

So, man up and just tell them.

trailsillustrated's avatar

its either: gum disease- if your’e brushing your teeth wrong, you can still get it
digestive trouble or a specific rotten tooth. those are the reasons and you should tell her.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.

How Does What You Eat Affect Breath?
Basically, all the food you eat begins to be broken down in your mouth. As foods are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, they are eventually carried to your lungs and given off in your breath. If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing—even mouthwash—merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.

Why Do Poor Habits Cause Bad Breath?
If you don’t brush and floss your teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, which promotes bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This causes bad breath. In addition, odor-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned.

Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products can also cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods, and irritate the gums. Source

cockswain's avatar

I’m pretty sure it’s little chunks of food that rot in pockets of the tonsils.

chyna's avatar

Black Hairy Tongue Although this is an extreme example, it is a very real ailment. Along with brushing their teeth everyday and flossing, your friend needs to gently brush their tongue also to get rid of bacteria that grows there and causes odor. Gum disease causes odor too.

john65pennington's avatar

Well, everybody hit on just about every possibility, except denture breath. does your friend wear dentures?

GeorgeGee's avatar

I can’t imagine why those vegetarian garlic and limburger cheese sandwiches would give anyone bad breath….

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littlekori's avatar

I doubt it’s because she’s a vegeterian. But does she floss? because that is a huge way to get stank breath. Also, maybe a rotting tooth? probably from not flossing. I would bring it up to her though. but nicely. only becuase you cant be the only one who has noticed. So help her out!(:

mistic84's avatar

How long has she had bad breathe? Did it just recently start or has she always had it?

Supacase's avatar

I worked with a girl who had chronic halitosis. She chewed gum constantly to try to mask her breath. According to her, it was some sort of medical condition.

Carly's avatar

@ChazMaz I’m don’t really care if she has bad breath or not, I’m just wondering what the cause could be.

Nullo's avatar

I understand that constipation is among the myriad causes of bad breath.
I would not recommend asking about this as a potential cause. :D

@chyna Thanks for posting that. The subsequent image search has murdered my appetite for the rest of the week. :(

CMaz's avatar

“I’m just wondering what the cause could be.”

Excuse the pun. But go to the horses mouth and find out.

josie's avatar

What does the rest of her smell like. Maybe she is just generally careless about personal hygiene. Simply brushing you teeth does not mean the mouth is clean after you are done. If you don’t scrape all of that biofilm off of every tooth surface, cheeks, gums and tongue, then it is dirty in there.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

People with empty growly stomachs often have bad breath as do people with sore stomachs, coffee drinkers, cheese and garlic eaters, cigarette smokers, people who brush but not floss.

MeinTeil's avatar

There’s two main sources of bad breath:

Bad breath from the mouth and bad breath from the lungs.

The latter can’t be fixed by treating the mouth. (Oral hygiene, gum, etc.).

When the liver isn’t detoxifying what you’ve consumed it takes on the job of detoxifying itself.

These toxins pass through the bloodstream on their way to the kidneys and the skin’s pores. The bloodstream meshes with the lungs as we all know. Some of the toxin’s smellyness exit the lungs by way of ones breath.

Kardamom's avatar

The other 2 things that come to mind are alcoholism and bulimia. Alcoholics tend to have a constant sour stomach and may not brush and floss properly, simply because they just don’t think to do it.

Bulimics throw up a lot (and may also brush their teeth often to try to cover up the smell) they also tend to have bad looking front teeth because the acid from vomiting ruins tooth enamel.

Both of these conditions probably contribute to poor oral health in general, so her bad breath could be caused by more than one thing.

mattbrowne's avatar

Skipped breakfast.

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