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9 Causes of Bad Breath

Updated on November 21, 2011

Bad breath also known as Halitosis in dental terminology is a problem commonly seen one in every four individuals.Though it is not much harmful it causes a great discomfort to the person as well as others while conversations.To resolve this problem identifying the cause is very important.

onion and garlic
onion and garlic

What causes bad breath ?

1. Improper Brushing :-After every meal food accumulates in the crevices between the tooth,around the gums and on the tongue.This helps bacteria to develop and in turn causes bad smell.

2. Artificial teeth:- Many people do not take care of artificial teeth which are replaced (dentures,bridges).Food accumulates around them and further develops bacteria.

3. Mouth breathing :- Generally bacteria develops in mouth during night times.Some people have a habit of mouth breathing while sleeping which creates a dry environment that favours developing bacteria.

4.Gingivitis and Periodontitis:- Inflammation of gums and bleeding gums also causes bad breath.It is also seen in cases like pregnancy(pregnancy gingivitis) and adolescence (puberty gingivitis).

5.Xerostomia :- Xerostomia or Dryness of mouth due decreased salivary flow also causes halitosis.It can be seen while using some drugs and in radiotherapy.

6.Tobacco:- Tobacco products in various forms cause bad breath along with stains on teeth,periodontitis and loss of taste.

7.Diseases :- In Chronic diseases like Liver infections, Sinusitis,Bronchitis, Epilepsy,Diabetes, ENT problems and Kidney problems also we can bad breath.

8.Improper diet habits :-Intake of food after long intervals on empty stomach also aggravates bad breath.

9.Some Foods:- Some foods like garlic,onion have strong odour and cause bad breath.

Brushing twice daily
Brushing twice daily
Dental flossing
Dental flossing
Quit smoking
Quit smoking

How to get rid of bad breath

1. Prevention is best method to treat bad breath.So make a habit of Brushing your teeth twice daily (morning and night) regularly.Rinse your mouth after every meal and after eating sweet foods.

2.Flossing and Tongue cleaning are as important as brushing.

3. Mouth washes used to rinse mouth.

4.Drink plenty of water.

5.Follow regular diet habits.Eat light food more several times than eating heavy meal.

6.Cleaning of artificial teeth (dentures) regularly.

7.Stop smoking or chewing tobacco.

8.Regular dental checkup for every 6 months or one year is compulsory.

Guava fruit and leaves
Guava fruit and leaves

Home remedies that may help

1." An Apple a day keeps the doctor away " though it is a popular old saying it definitely keeps the bad breath away.

2.Everyone cannot afford to eat an apple daily due to cost or is a seasonal fruit.The best alternative is Guava which is cheap and always available.

3.Not only the Guava fruit but its tender leaves also work well.Chew few leaves early in the morning immediately after brushing or gargle with kaada or kashaayam made of those leaves.

4.Warm Salt water gargling also helps.

5.Lemon in warm water can also be used.

6. Cloves,Fennel seeds,Cumin,Cardamom,Cinnamon acts as mouth fresheners and increase salivary flow.

7.Massaging the tooth,gums and with Triphala powder also helps or gargling with Triphala kashaayam or kaada also gives best results.

8.Chewing handful of mint leaves or gargling with mint extract also freshens your breath.


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