Bad breath, its causes and ways of combating it.

Bad breath is a very common problem which affects at least 1 in 4 persons. It is medically referred to as “Halitosis”

Bad breath is often caused as a result of poor oral hygiene from individuals. This can lead to a public embarrassment especially when you open your mouth to talk in the midst of other people.

The origin of bad breath starts from the mouth where bacteria are ever present. All the foods you eat starts its braking down in the mouth.
Anytime you eat, there are bits of food which gets trapped in your teeth. Bacteria then grow on these bits of food, releasing foul-smelling sulfur compounds.

Failure to brush and floss often will ensure the bacteria in your mouth continue to grow due to poor oral hygiene.

This will in turn cause a thin film of bacteria known as plaque to build up on your teeth. When plaque isn’t brushed away at least twice per day, it produces a foul odour and leads to another smelly process, tooth decay.

Likewise, food with strong odours like onions and garlic are known to commonly lead to bad breath.
Digestion of these foods releases sulfur compounds into your bloodstream. Brushing, flossing and even using a mouthwash hardly cover up the odour temporarily.
It is important to note that the odour will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body

Causes of bad breath

The following are the various causes of bad breath;

1 Tobacco

Tobacco products cause their own types of mouth odor. Smoking or chewing tobacco based products also can cause bad breath. They stain teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods, and irritate your gums.
This then increase the chances of gum disease which can also cause bad breath.

2 Food

The breakdown of food particles stuck in the teeth as well as consumption of garlic and onions can cause odors.

3 Dry mouth

Naturally, saliva is known to clean the mouth. If the mouth is naturally dry or dry due to a specific disease, odours can build up.

4 Poor dental hygiene

Inadequate brushing and flossing to remove small particles of food that has built up causes plaque. Plaques in turn irritates the gums and cause inflammation between the teeth and the gums.
Also, dentures that are not cleaned regularly or properly can also harbor bacteria that cause halitosis.

5 Dieters

Those that are on a diet and don’t eat often enough can have bad breath.
When your body breaks down fat, the process releases chemicals that can give your breath an unpleasant smell.

6 Drugs

Certain medications can reduce saliva and then increase mouth odour.
Other drugs can produce odours as they breakdown and release chemicals in the breath.

7 Mouth, nose, and throat conditions

Sometimes, small, bacteria-covered stones can form on the tonsils at the back of the throat and produce odour. Also, infections or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses can cause halitosis.

8 Bowel obstruction

 Breath can smell like feaces if there has been a prolonged period of vomiting, especially if a bowel obstruction is present.


The specific odour of breath varies 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.

Bad breath can be compared in a number of ways such as ;
1 Checking your lifestyle and what you consume and correct that which is needed.

2 Home remedies

3 Seeing a Dentist in severe cases for proper examination. This will ensure for further tests to rule out other conditions.

Most times home remedies and proper hygiene is very important in solving bad breath issues. Some of the home remedies includes;

1 Cleaning of dentures: Anything that goes into your mouth, including dentures, a bridge, or a mouth guard, should be cleaned as recommended on a daily basis.

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

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3 Tooth brush change: changing your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months is also important to combat bad breath

4 Brush the teeth: Be sure to brush at least twice a day, preferably after each meal.

5 Floss: Brushing only cleans around 60 percent of the surface of the tooth. Hence, flossing reduces the buildup of food particles and plaque from between the teeth.


6 Avoiding dry mouth: Drinking plenty of water helps in reducing dry mouth.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco, both of which dehydrate the mouth.
Also, chewing a gum or sucking a sweet preferably sugar free ones can help stimulate the production of saliva.

Dry mouth

7 Diet
: Avoid onions, garlic, and spicy food. 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.

8 Fruits: Consuming more fruits and vegetables and less meat helps in combating bad breath.
Fruits like apples, carrots, celery, and other hard fruits and vegetables help clear odour-causing plaque and food particles from your mouth.

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