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Help, I have Bad Breath!

Updated on October 2, 2014

I have Halitosis, Help!

Bad breath is called halitosis by the medical world, and it is a generic term to cover many types of bad breath. Bad breath can be oral halitosis, where the cause of the malodor is in the mouth, or extra-oral halitosis, which can be blood borne halitosis or non-blood borne halitosis. The latter category includes respiratory causes, or gastrointestinal causes.Bad breath is a problem that affects many people, and it has different reasons. A person with bad breath will suffer from the direct consequences of the condition, and indirectly because this will lower their self confidence. Most people want to cure their bad breath but they have no idea where to start, or they don't even know what is the cause of it? Read on, this page will show you the causes of bad breath, and how you can get rid of it naturally, where possible, or with medical assistance where needed.

Nature's Way Chlorofresh Softgels

Nature's Way Chlorofresh; Internal Deodorant*; chlorophyll concentrate; 90 softgels
Nature's Way Chlorofresh; Internal Deodorant*; chlorophyll concentrate; 90 softgels

The Chlorofresh softgels contain concentrated chlorophyll extracted from alfalfa leaves.This will help you get rid of the bad breath caused by a low carb diet, or dry mouth, or it can even help you lower your sweat odor. The bad taste in your mouth, and the urge to have a mint every now and then, are gone while using this.

Oral Care
Oral Care

Bad Breath, (Halitosis ) Causes

Causes Causes of Mouth Odor

There are several underlying medical conditions associated with halitosis, and most often the bad breath is in fact only a symptom, not a condition. Listed are the most common causes for bad breath.

  • Gum Disease Bad Breath The most common condition associated with a bad breath is an inefficient dental hygiene. If your dentist says your gums are fine, it's probably something else, but if you don't brush twice a day, and floss at least once, this miht be your problem. Read here more about gingivitis.
  • Dry Mouth Bad Breath Dry mouth is another common cause for bad breath. Breathing through your mouth will severely dry you mouth up. If you sleep with your mouth open, this will cause your mouth to dry and give the bacteria the opportunity to develop.
    Try to sleep on your side, use nasal decongestants, or anything else to prevent you from breathing through your mouth.
  • Ketosis Bad Breath Ketosis is a condition where ketone levels are raised in our bodies, and it is triggered by a low carb diet, or extreme fasting. It is also a symptom of diabetes mellitus. Ketones are substances resulted from metabolizing fat. Acetone is a ketone expelled from the body as toxic waste, and it is responsible for the fruity smell associated with ketosis. While on a low carb diet, the levels of ketones will initially raise dramatically, causing the specific bad breath. However, the bad breath will diminish in time. A good solution to fight bad breath while on an Atkins diet, is to take chlorophyll supplements.
  • Acid Reflux Bad Breath Stomach problems are another source of bad breath. The most common cause is the belching, when gases are released from stomach. Another case of bad breath from stomach is a weak esophageal sphincter, which causes acid reflux bad breath. The lower esophageal sphincter is responsible for making a barrier between the stomach and the esophagus. If this sphincter is weak, the stomach content can go back up in the esophagus. People who suffer from acid reflux, will very likely have a bad breath. The solution is to eat small meals so that there is no pressure on the weak sphincter. Abdomen strengthening exercises will also strengthen the esophageal sphincter.
  • Tongue Bad Breath The tongue, can be a source of malodorous breath. If the chemical balance of the mouth is off, there could be an abnormal increase of bacteria on the tongue. These will produce sulfur based compounds, the cause of the bad breath. The solution is to clean the tongue with a tongue scraper, (tongue cleaner), to eliminate the source of the sulfur production. Chewing gum, or mints can additionally help by masking the odor, but key here is to clean the tongue.
  • Garlic Bad Breath
    Garlic bad breath is caused by sulfur compounds naturally present in garlic. The same compounds responsible for bad breath are actually very potent agents, preventing a series of conditions and diseases.To reduce garlic breath you need to eat natural, plain yogurt, and parsley leaves after eating garlic.
    Another more effective way is to take chlorophyll supplements.
  • Bad Breath Caused by Nose and Sinus Infections
    With a sinus infection, the odor while breathing through your nose is different from breathing through the mouth and it is very strong. The smell is actually caused by the infection in sinuses or in the nose.
    Obviously, the cure is to treat the infection. If you often have sinus infections, you might consider getting a few head massage sessions, and have some inhalations with oregano oil and grapefruit seed extract.Postnasal drip is believed to be the cause of bad breath, however, mucus is odorless, so the drip itself cannot be the cause of halitosis. However, sinus infections, and breathing through your mouth because a stuffy nose, can lead to bad breath.
  • Systemic diseases can also be the cause of bad breath, but in these cases the smelly breath will be the least of someone affected, so we will not insist on them. A couple of examples are liver failure, lung and bronchial infections, renal infections, etc...
  • A very common bad breath is a poor digestive system and an inadequate diet. If someone's bad breath can be described as smelling like feces, this could be it. Some other symptoms are: constipation, acne, bad taste, over-sensitivity to smell.
  • Bad Breath Caused By Tonsilloliths
    The tonsils are lymphatic tissue, used as a defensive mechanism, against infections. Tonsil stones are little formations on the tonsils' surface, that are debris, bacteria, and trapped food. Studies have found that an overwhelming number of people with bad breath, had tonsilloliths, (tonsil stones).
    A very effective, cheap way to flush the tonsil stones, is to make a gargle with salted water every day. The stone will eventually dislodge. A more complicated method is to use a cotton swab, that you first wet, and then sprinkle salt on it. Then use this swab to dislodge the stones off of the tonsils.

Stinky Breath - (depositphoto)
Stinky Breath - (depositphoto)

How to Tell If I have Bad Breath

How to Check if Your Breath Smells Bad

You might have a hunch, but you are not sure if your breath smells bad. There are a few ways to determine if your breath is stinky, without having to embarrass yourself by asking others.

Cover your nose and mouth area with your hands forming a cup, and breathe through your mouth. Try to seal the cup the best you can. Breathe a few times, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. The little cloud of breath forming in your palms is what others smell.

Another method is to lick your wrist, let it dry a bit, for a few seconds and then smell it. This will tell you if your tongue is smelly.

Finally, the best method is to use a bad breath tester. These are very small, easy to use and you can carry them with you. They are designed to detect the volatile sulfur substances in your breath.

FitScan - Breath Checker - Bad Breath Tester

Tanita FitScan HC-212SF Breath Checker White
Tanita FitScan HC-212SF Breath Checker White

This bad breath tester is a great product that will detect the level bad breath caused by volatile sulfur compounds. Around 80% of halitosis cases are related to volatile sulfur substances caused by the bacteria in your mouth. Carry this in your pocket, and check your breath before a meeting or a date for maximum confidence.

Listerine Mouthwash
Listerine Mouthwash

What Is the Best Mouthwash for Bad Breath?

Is Mouthwash Bad for Your Teeth?

A study performed at the Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospital in Chennai, assessed the effects of various mouthwash products present on the market. The conclusion of the study was that many mouthwashes on the market, (containing alcohol, Chlorhexidine, and Povidone-Iodine), might be doing more harm than good, if used on a regular basis. The mentioned substances will reduce the regeneration capability of the gums if used consistently and in large quantities. Here is the published abstract on the NIH's website: Effect of mouth rinses on human gingival fibroblast

Using a mouthwash for freshen up your breath is a great idea, but you need to know which one to use. Using antiseptic mouthwash should be done cautiously, if your product contains one of the above active ingredients. However, there are safer, more natural mouthwashes that you can use. Choose a mouthwash that doesn't contain the above substances, or they are in a low concentration. Take a look at the mouthwash reviews below, or check this page about the best mouthwash list.

Smart Mouth Mouthwash

Smart mouth is a new generation of rinse that works differently than the previous two generations, the alcohol, or chlorhexidine based ones, or the oxygen ones. The active ingredient is the Zinc-Ion that is more effective and lasts longer than both the antiseptics or the oxygenating products.

SmartMouth Original 2 Pump Bottle System 16 oz (1 pack, Original Mint)
SmartMouth Original 2 Pump Bottle System 16 oz (1 pack, Original Mint)

Smart Mouth is a product that comes in two bottles, that you need to mix just before using. It is very safe effective, and it has great customer reviews. This is one of the greatest advances in the field.


Astring-O-Sol Natural Concentrated Mouthwash

Astring-O-Sol works in a couple of ways to help you get rid of a bad breath.If you use it as a gargle, will help you cure throat infections and remove mucus which causes bad breath. When you use it as a mouthwash it will disinfect your mouth and kill bacteria and remove plaque.It does contain alcohol in a proportion of 75%, but this is in the concentrated state, when you dilute it in the correct proportion, the alcohol content does not have a harmful action.

Astring-O-Sol Mouthwash, 8 Ounces
Astring-O-Sol Mouthwash, 8 Ounces

This is a very concentrated product, that needs to be diluted before use, so that means you will get more product for your money.Ingredients:Alcohol (75.6%)Methyl Salicylate, (oil of witergreen)Myrrh ExtractZinc ChlorideCitric Acid


Dr. Katz TheraBreath Oral Rinse

Alcohol free mouthwashes are safe, and some of them are actually very efficient. One of the best on the market is the Oral Rinse TheraBreath from Dr. Katz. TheraBreath doesn't contain artificial colors or flavors, does not contain any edulcorants, and it doesn't contain Alcohol.The product works by neutralizing the bacteria that produces sulfur, the OXYD-8 releases oxygen in your mouth and kills the bacteria.

TheraBreath – Fresh Breath Oral Rinse – Dentist Formulated – Stops Bad Breath – No Artificial Flavors – Gluten Free – Certified Kosher – Mild Mint Flavor – 16 Ounces – Two-Pack
TheraBreath – Fresh Breath Oral Rinse – Dentist Formulated – Stops Bad Breath – No Artificial Flavors – Gluten Free – Certified Kosher – Mild Mint Flavor – 16 Ounces – Two-Pack

Therabreath oral rinse Ingredients:Purified water,Oxyd 8Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)Hydrogenated Castor OilTetrasodium EDTASodium BenzoateSodium HydroxideEssential Oil of Peppermint


Funny Bad Breath Prank Video

Bad Breath Treatment with Probiotics and Vitamin B - Probiotics and Vitamin B Treatment for Mouth Odor From Stomach

Bad breath from stomach is not very common, but it is very hard to cure because the modern medicine doesn't map that as a symptom of the bigger problem, digestive problems, or lazy liver.

If your bad breath is worse when you eat proteins, (dairy, beans, red meat, eggs), it is very likely that this is your problem.The symptoms are:

  • constipation,
  • bad taste,
  • acne,
  • over-sensitive smell,
  • heartburns,
  • other skin problems,
  • bloating and
  • stomach cramps.

One way to treat it fast is of course reduce the protein intake, make a list with all the foods that cause you bad breath and simply avoid them. This is going to work for a limited period though, as proteins are essential for our body, and we need them. The best approach is start on a lower protein intake, until your body starts functioning properly, then get back to a normal dose, but lower than before. In the meantime you will start to take some supplements to help your body digest the food, and your liver to regenerate, and function properly. This regimen will give you a lot of energy, and you will feel great in general.

People with bad breath have noticed a strong correlation if bad breath and a slow metabolism and led them to believe that this could be the root cause of their bad breath. They observed that when they ate protein based foods, the bad odors were worse. So the link was inevitably established between digestion/absorption and bad odors.

The two most effective supplements to help this particular problem, have been found to be the probiotics and the vitamin B complex. The probiotics help with the intestinal health, hence improve the absorption. They also reduce the risk of gut infections. It also helps with constipation, regulating the daily transit. Constipation is a symptom that is present in most cases of bad odor from stomach.

Vitamin B is responsible for a good digestion. B3 in particular is needed for digestion, and B6 helps breaking down the protein.

Why Do I need Supplements?

Actually, you shouldn't need supplements, but the poor modern diet leads to the need of these supplements. The missing foods from our diet are the fermented foods. Fermented foods are a great source of both probiotics and vitamin B. For instance sour pickled vegetables, and yoghurt are among the best sources of probiotics. Apple cider vinegar, which is attributed many healing properties, is a prebiotic, which means it will feed the good bacteria in your gut. Fermented foods are also a source of vitamin B12, a vitamin otherwise only found in meats.

Garden of Life B Vitamin - Vitamin Code Raw B Complex Whole Food Supplement, Vegan, 60 Capsules
Garden of Life B Vitamin - Vitamin Code Raw B Complex Whole Food Supplement, Vegan, 60 Capsules

Garden of life is a specially formulated B-Complex vitamin supplement, containing probiotics, and enzymes. This cocktail is very effective, and it really works. Take a look at the Amazon reviews.


Why Does Your Breath Smell Bad - Video


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