What Causes Bad Breath And How To Overcome It

What Causes Bad Breath And How To Overcome It

Bad breath is a common problem that can affect anyone at any age. About one in four people are thought to have bad breath (halitosis) regularly. While we are socializing all this season, the last thing you want is someone avoiding you because of the foul odor. Here we shall discuss the bad breath causes and how one can overcome this problem from simple diet tips to all dos and don’ts. As diet also plays important role in oral hygiene, check out vitamins for teeth and gums.

What Are Bad Breath Causes?

Several things can cause bad breath. It is usually the result of poor oral hygiene. If bacteria build up in your mouth, the toxins produced can cause your breath to smell. Bacteria break down pieces of food in the mouth may release an unpleasant smelling gas. Any food trapped on your teeth – particularly between them – is broken down by bacteria, which may cause bad breath.

Persistent bad breath can sometimes be a sign of gum disease. Eating strongly flavored foods, such as onions and garlic, can also cause your breath to smell, as can smoking and drinking alcohol which can be quite the reason this season.

Occasionally, bad breath can occur after an infection or illness or as a result of taking certain types of medication.

Causes Of Bad Breath

Most bad breath starts in your mouth, and there are many possible causes. They include:

1. Food

The breakdown of food particles in and around your teeth can increase bacteria and cause a foul odor. Eating certain foods such as onions, garlic and spices can cause bad breath.

2. Tobacco Products

Smoking causes its own unpleasant mouth odor. Smokers and oral tobacco users are also more likely to have gum disease, another source of bad breath.

3. Poor Dental Hygiene

If you do not brush and floss daily, food particles remain in your mouth, causing bad breath.

4. Dry Mouth

Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, removing particles that cause bad odors. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep, leading to “morning breath,” which worsens if you sleep with your mouth open.

5. Medications

Some medications can indirectly produce bad breath by contributing to dry mouth.

6. Infections In Your Mouth

Surgical wounds can cause bad breath after oral surgery, such as tooth removal or tooth decay, gum disease, or mouth sores.

7. Crash Diets

Fasting and low carbohydrate eating programs can lead to bad breath. This is due to the breakdown of fats producing chemicals called ketones, which have a strong smell.

8. Other Causes

Chronic reflux of stomach acids (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) can be associated with bad breath.


The specific odor of breath can vary depending on the cause of the problem. It is best to ask a close friend or relative to gauge your mouth odor, as it can be difficult to assess it yourself.

If no one is available, one way of checking the odor is to lick your wrist, leave it to dry, and then smell it. A bad smell on this area of the wrist is likely to suggest that you have halitosis. Some individuals are concerned about their breath even though they may have little or no mouth odor.

How Can One Avoid Bad Breath

Lifestyle changes and home remedies for bad breath include:

1. Brush Your Teeth

Be sure to brush at least twice a day, preferably after each meal. Change your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.

2. Floss

Flossing reduces the build-up of food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Brushing only cleans around 60 percent of the surface of the tooth.

3. Clean Dentures

Anything that goes into your mouth, including dentures, a bridge, or a mouth guard, should be cleaned as recommended daily. Cleaning prevents the bacteria from building up and being transferred back into the mouth.

4. Brush Tongue

Bacteria, food, and dead cells commonly build up on the tongue, especially in smokers or those with a, particularly dry mouth. A tongue cleaner or scraper can sometimes be useful.

5. Avoid Dry Mouth

Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, both of which dehydrate the mouth. Chewing gum or sucking a sweet, preferably sugar-free, can help stimulate the production of saliva. If the mouth is chronically dry, a doctor may prescribe medication that stimulates the flow of saliva.

6. Diet

Avoid onions, garlic, and spicy foods. Sugary foods are also linked to bad breath. Reduce coffee and alcohol consumption. Eating a breakfast that includes rough foods can help clean the back of the tongue.

If breath odor persists despite controlling these factors, it is recommended that an individual visits a doctor for further tests to rule out other conditions.

BE AWARE OF Pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, liver or kidney problems as these diseases can cause bad breath.

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