By now you’re probably used to wearing a mask every time you leave the house. It’s just part of your routine. Wearing a mask has a few benefits including reducing the spread of COVID-19, helping you go shopping in your pajamas without getting recognized by someone you know, and keeping your face warm during cold weather.

Unfortunately, wearing a mask isn’t glamourous for everyone. Some people are smelling something stinky under their mask, and it’s coming from their mouths. It’s never pleasant to smell someone’s bad breath let alone smell your own for hours on end. If you’ve been smelling bad breath behind your mask, here are some of the explanations why it’s happening.

curly haired woman wearing a face mask

Poor Oral Hygiene

One of the top reasons your breath smells bad under your mask is because you have poor oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene usually means there is a buildup of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria releases sulfur compounds that smell like rotten eggs and is the source of your bad breath. So why is there so much bacteria in your mouth? It’s usually due to not brushing and flossing either not effectively or not enough. If you skip dental cleanings, there’s probably also tartar stuck to your teeth that is only removable from your dentist.

When all these bacteria harbor in your mouth, it can not only cause bad breath but also lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Our first word of advice if you’re suffering from bad breath is to visit a dentist ASAP, especially if you’re overdue for a dental cleaning. Dr. Firouzian can help you restore oral health and kick your bad breath for good.

Drinking Coffee or Alcohol

Sometimes bacteria in your mouth isn’t the cause of your bad breath under your mask. If your oral health is up to high standards and you visit the dentist regularly, there’s probably another factor causing your bad breath. This can include drinking coffee or alcohol. Both of these drinks have strong flavors that tend to linger around in the mouth for hours far past the time you drank them. Coffee and alcohol both also decrease the production of saliva which means your mouth isn’t washing away bacteria as often as it should. This can cause bacteria to linger around in your mouth and cause bad breath. If you want to enjoy coffee or alcohol without dealing with bad breath, consider brushing your teeth, or at the very least, rinse your mouth with water after consuming to wash the bacteria out.


Cigarettes already contain tons of toxins and chemicals that harm your health but they also cause bad breath. In addition to the odor they cause, cigarettes can also cause dry mouth which means bacteria isn’t washed away from your teeth as often as it should. If you’re smelling your cigarette breath behind your mask, there’s only one solution – quit smoking! Your health and your nose will thank you.

Eating a Low Carb Diet

Low carb diets affect the function of your metabolism. In other words, your body digests food differently. When you eat a large amount of protein, your body finds it difficult to digest. As a result, the body will release sulfurous gases which can cause bad breath, also known as Keto breath. To avoid this problem, consider not doing a low-carb diet and instead focusing on your calorie consumption while consuming the right macronutrients for your body.

Digestive Issues

Different digestion problems such as acid reflux, poor digestion, bowel disorders, and constipation can cause sulfurous gases to travel up through your mouth and cause bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath. Saliva is incredibly important for washing away bacteria and helping to maintain fresh breath. Unfortunately, many factors can cause dry mouth. This includes smoking, drinking, certain medications, and health conditions. If you suffer from dry mouth, talk to your doctor about potential solutions. You can also keep your water intake high throughout the day. Just be prepared to make a lot of trips to the bathroom. Fresh breath is absolutely worth it though!

Certain Medications

Dry mouth is a common side effect of certain medications like anti-depressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, muscle relaxers, diuretics, appetite suppressants, and more. With dry mouth comes bad breath. Talk to your doctor about possibly changing your prescription to a different medication to see if it will help you avoid dry mouth.

Other Causes

There are a few other causes that can contribute to your bad breath behind your mask. These include allergies, tonsil infections, postnasal drip, and sinus infections.

Improve Your Bad Breath Today

If you’re tired of smelling your wretched bad breath behind your mask, it’s time to finally figure out what the cause is so you can treat it. We don’t know how long wearing a mask will be the norm but we do know that bad breath will never be normal. Start improving your bad breath today by our Columbus, Ohio dentist at Firouzian Dentistry. Please call (614) 848-5001 today to book an appointment.