Bad breathe or Halitosis

Bad breath is a dreadful condition that can cause embarrassment making us very self-conscious. This can create social and psychological barriers which can affect our relationships. Bad breath can often be improved with proper oral hygiene. Dentists can identify the cause and develop a treatment plan to eliminate the bad breath. You should feel encouraged to seek treatment due to the high success rate in managing bad breath.

How do I know whether I suffer from bad breath?

It is almost impossible for people to determine if their own breath offends. We become accustomed to our own odours and are unable to distinguish whether our breath offends. We often don’t produce bad breath until we talk. Talking forces out foul breath from the back of the mouth where the vast majority of bad breath is produced.

What causes bad breath?

Gum Disease: Poor dental hygiene and gum disease can be a source of bad breath. Food particles remain in your mouth collecting odorous bacteria if you don’t brush and floss daily. A colorless, sticky film of bacteria known as plaque forms on your teeth. Plaque can irritate your gums and cause tooth decay if not brushed away. Plaque-filled pockets can eventually form between your teeth and gums worsening this problem and your breath. 

Food.:The breakdown of food particles in and around your teeth can cause bad breath. Eating foods containing volatile oils is another source of bad breath. Onions and garlic are the best known examples but other vegetables and spices also can also be culprits. These foods are digested and the pungent oils are absorbed into your bloodstream. It is then carried to your lungs where it is expelled in your breath until the food is eliminated from your body. Alcohol behaves in the same way. 

Dry mouth: Saliva helps cleanse and moisten your mouth. A dry mouth enables dead cells to accumulate on your tongue, gums and cheeks. These cells then decompose and cause odour. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep. It’s what causes ‘morning breath’. Dry mouth is even more of a problem if you sleep with your mouth open. Some medications, smoking and a problem with your salivary glands can also lead to a chronic dry mouth.

Tobacco products: Smoking dries out your mouth and causes its own unpleasant mouth odour. Tobacco users are also more likely to have gum disease which is an additional source of bad breath.

Mouth, nose and throat conditions. Bad breath is also associated with sinus infections because nasal discharge from your sinuses into the back of your throat can cause mouth odour.. Strep throat, tonsillitis and mononucleosis can cause bad breath until the throat infection clears. Bronchitis and other upper respiratory infections in which you cough up odorous sputum are another source of bad breath.

What can I do about bad breath?

Regular checkups will allow dentists to detect any problems such as gum disease, a dry mouth or other disorders that may be causing bad breath. Maintaining good oral hygiene, eliminating gum disease and scheduling regular professional cleanings are essential to reducing bad breath.


Good oral hygiene is essential in order to prevent bad breath. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth daily with dental floss. Ensure you also brush your tongue. Be sure to remove your dentures at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them the next morning.