Bad Breath Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

Bad breath is a common problem that troubles people across age groups. While the most plausible cause of the condition is poor oral hygiene, it could also be a result of an underlying condition.

Also known as halitosis or fetor oris, it can cause embarrassment, social anxiety and low self-confidence if left unchecked. With global estimates stating that bad breath affects every one in four people, the numbers are discouraging.

However, mouth odour does not mean that you must shun the world and become a recluse. Dentists Hope Island have been treating the ailment and helping others to prevent it with simple home remedies. So, let us understand what causes bad breath and how it can be treated and prevented.

Causes of Bad Breath

If you smell odour while you talk or open your mouth, you are suffering from bad breath. Here are the most probable causes of the problem.

  • Choice of Foods

While eating, our teeth break down the food, and some tiny particles get stuck in the gaps of the teeth, which cause bad breath. Some of the food is also absorbed by the bloodstream and reaches our lungs.

So, when we exhale, we release the smell of these foods. In addition, there are certain foods that are known to have strong odours and can cause temporary bad breath when chewed raw, such as onions and garlic. Other foods that cause bad breath include cheese, alcohol, soda, spices, etc.

Treatment: To keep your breath smelling fresh after eating these foods, you must rinse your mouth, followed by brushing and flossing.

  • Tobacco

Smoking can lead to unpleasant breath. It can also affect gums and stain your teeth. Tobacco can be lethal for the mouth and overall health as it is known to cause mouth cancer, throat cancer, and lung cancer.

Treatment: Almost every person who smokes suffers from halitosis. Thus, it is best to quit tobacco.

  • Dry Mouth

Saliva present in the mouth washes away the food stuck on the teeth and keeps bacterial growth in check. Some conditions like xerostomia can reduce the production of saliva and cause a dry mouth. Dryness can also be caused due to some medication or salivary gland disorder.

Treatment: Staying well hydrated is the best way to conquer dryness of the mouth. Using a humidifier also helps in reducing a dry mouth while sleeping. You must also stop consuming alcohol and limit caffeine intake that can cause dehydration.

Keep your mouth lubricated by drinking fluids and rinsing your mouth often with water. Chewing sugar-free gums also helps in increasing the production of saliva, such as mints that include xylitol.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene

Food debris and plaque in the mouth can lead to bad breath, cavities, and decay. Also, the build-up of bacteria on the tongue is one of the many reasons for halitosis.

Treatment: Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. Keep the brush at a 45-degree angle and move it back and forth gently without rubbing the gums.

Clean the tongue and all the surfaces of teeth without fail. Use an antiseptic mouthwash to get rid of bad breath, bacteria, and plaque. Also, make sure to change your toothbrush after three months and never miss the cleaning routine.

  • Dental or Oral Problems

Dental ailments like cavities, gingivitis, mouth sores, tooth removal or wound in the mouth can cause an unpleasant smell when you exhale.

Treatment: Visit your dentist regularly to keep your oral health in check. They can quickly identify periodontal diseases or dry mouth condition to help you get rid of the problem.

  • Medical Conditions

Some people can develop tiny stones on the tonsils that are covered in bacteria and release a bad smell in the mouth. Similarly, certain infections in the mouth, throat, or nose can also cause halitosis.

Sometimes a foreign particle stuck in the nasal cavity also produces mouth odour. In addition, other diseases that cause bad breath include diabetes, metabolic diseases, cancer, etc.

Treatment: If you have a medical condition that is causing your breath to smell bad, consult a doctor to get the problem treated.

How to Prevent Bad Breath?

Bad breath can affect anyone, so make sure you maintain optimum oral hygiene, drink lots of tap water and non-sugary fluids, do not consume too much alcohol or caffeine and quit smoking.

In addition, you must eat a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples, celery, carrots, etc. Avoid foods that you think are giving you bad breath and visit your dentist regularly to diagnose the reason behind halitosis.

If you want to check bad breath, you can ask someone close to you to smell your breath. You can also lick your wrist and let it dry and then smell it to determine the freshness of your breath.

However, do not get obsessed with the condition as it can cause halitophobia, which makes you think about having bad breath even after brushing and flossing.


Mouth odour can make people avoid you and lead to other dental problems if caused by plaque and bacteria. Thus, it is best to visit your dentist in Hope Island and get it checked for correct diagnosis and treatment.