Does Vitamin B Complex Cause Bad Breath?

Fact Checked

iThinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Sometimes brushing your teeth is not enough, particularly when a deficiency in B vitamins might be the cause of bad breath. Stores stock in chewing gum, mouthwash and mints to help fight bad breath, but these are just temporary solutions. According to, about 10 percent of bad breath cases do not come from the mouth, and a deficiency in B vitamins might cause bad breath that stems from the stomach. If you find yourself with bad breath despite your good oral hygiene, an increase in B vitamins might do the trick.


The B-complex vitamins help the body make energy from food. When a B vitamin deficiency occurs, the enzymes produced to aid in proper digestion and bacteria elimination decrease in the blood. This causes an increase of waste in the blood, which may lead to bad breath. Other symptoms of B-complex deficiency may include dizziness, migraines and diarrhea.


Niacin, or vitamin B-3, produces coenzymes that help form energy from fat, proteins and carbohydrates. According to researcher Evelyn Roehl, author of "Whole Food Facts," niacin deficiency causes bad breath due to the reduction of metabolic processes in the body. Adults should consume between 14 and 16 milligrams of B-3 daily to avoid a deficiency. If you are already deficient in B-3, your doctor may recommend you take 50 to 100 milligrams daily, according to MedlinePlus.


Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum, often caused by bacteria. A prominent symptom is bleeding of the gums; you will notice this when brushing your teeth. A side effect of the bacteria harboring in the mouth is bad breath. Folic acid, or B-9, can help treat gingivitis. According to Healthwise, using folic acid as a mouthwash can help reduce inflammation, which reduces bad breath. Rinse your mouth with 5 milliliters of folic acid for 30 to 60 days.


Food, smoking, dry mouth and poor dental hygiene can all be causes of bad breath. B vitamins work together; therefore, it's crucial to use all B vitamins when treating a B vitamin deficiency. Treating bad breath with B vitamins can lead to an overdose if a deficiency is not the cause. If you are unsure of what is causing your bad breath, discuss your symptoms with a doctor.