Common causes of Bad Breath & How to Prevent It




    Most people say that the smile is one of the best features of a person which I also think is true, but many people that suffer from bad breath might feel other wise.This might be because they feel embarrassed about their state, about 20% of the people in the population suffer from various issues surrounding this topic making them feel less confident.Occasionally everyone has dealt with bad breath but for some its a daily problem,which in some causes may even cause anxiety for some.

    Bad breath is also known as Halitosis,which according to Harvard health website is a Latin word that means “bad breath” when translated into English.There are several factors that may cause Halitosis these might be things like food, diets as well as various types of health conditions.Even habits such as excessive drinking of alcohols and smoking can cause severe Halitosis which will be seen later on in this post, however developing some key good habits can help in the prevention of Halitosis.It is very important to maintain good dental hygiene regularly, such as regular visits to the dentist and always brushing your teeth as this prevents the problem from persisting.

    this image is from a health article from mayo clinic


    What are some of the symptoms of bad breath ?

    Well most of the symptoms of Halitosis might be fairly easy and straight forward, as most of the people that might suffer from this chronic disease usually have persistent oral odors coupled with an unpleasant taste in the mouth.Although some symptoms can be fairly obvious, oral orders might vary depending on the source such as the tongue and gums. For Instance the formation of plaque from the build of debris found in the mouth which can be a symptom of bad breath.

    Other symptoms of bad breath also include dryness of the mouth as well as a coating along the back portion of the tongue, the formation of this coating might be due to the build up of bacteria or debris within the mouth.

    Although the above symptoms are clear for signs of Halitosis, it might not be that simple for an individual to assess their own state and usually tend to ask a close friend or family member for help.On the other hand they might be some people that might be experiencing halitophobia, meaning they tend to feel like the have bad breath when in actual fact they might not which can lead to anxiety as I mentioned earlier.

    Then What are Some of The Causes of Bad Breath

    As mentioned in the begin, there are many factors that may lead to Halitosis . Therefore it is important to take not of these causes, as it will help you to prevent yourself more effectively from having bad breath.

    Poor Oral Hygiene

     Just like in the above paragraph about the symptoms of bad breath, we can safely conclude that the failure to maintain proper oral hygiene can lead to the build up in residue and bacteria causing Halitosis.As you brush your teeth in the morning you may not be able to remove the particles of food that are suck in between your teeth, as these particles start to combine with the saliva they become infested with bacteria and when in excess can cause an unpleasant breathe.

    If these excess particles aren’t dealt with it slowly turns into a soft yellowish/whitish deposit found around the surface of your teeth called plaque, with time the plaque starts to harden.As it hardens it becomes more compressed(Solid) and forms what is then known as calculus, calculus is a substance that can cause moderate to severe inflammations to the mouth as it is harder to remove.

    This Inflammation of the gum can be associated with Gingivitis which is a form of gum disease,but as the bacteria begins to spread below the gums it triggers a more severe type of gum disease called Periodontitis.If left untreated it might cause a substantial amount of damage to the jawbone as well as the gums, resulting in discomfort & pain hence it can be said that periodontal diseases often result in bad breath.


     I know some of you are shocked by this fact but it is true, if some medicines are taken regularly they may end up contributing to bad breath as well as taste disorders. Some medication that may have some side effects may lead to a long term unpleasant mouth odor.

     How then does medicine play its role in causing bad breath?, well as medication is broken down within the body some chemicals might be released in the mouth causing an unpleasant mouth odor. These chemicals can also cause the mouth to get dry and also may lead to unpleasant mouth odors.

     Some of the medications that might be associated with bad breath are medications like Disulfiram,that treats alcoholism by stopping enzyme activity; Amphetamines, which are involved when it comes to treating ADHD; Dismethyl Sulfate, it is used to treat symptoms related to problems with the bladder; Chloral Hydrate, which is used as a sedative as well as some of the chemotherapy medicines.If such medication is taken regularly they can largely contribute to a more serve case of bad breath that is known as Halitosis.

    Alcoholic beverages

     The excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages may often cause an unpleasant smell for several hours which can cause bad breath however, bad breath can become chronic and may be an indication of liver damage in the case of heavy consumers of alcohol.

      As the alcohol enters your body it is converted into a less harmful chemical, that is why about 90% of the alcohol that is consumed is converted into acetic acid.What about the 10% ?, this amount is released through the respiratory system which causes a very unpleasant scent from your breath as well as your skin.

     Alcoholic drinks also tend to dehydrate the consumer, thus reducing the amount of saliva being produced causing the mouth to become dry and preventing debris from being washed away.

     Alcoholic drinks such as wines and heavy liquor can leave a very unpleasant smell in your mouth for up to 10 hours after consumption which is a very long time, that being said there are some alcoholic drinks that may have a more noticeable scent than others.



    Bad breath also known as Halitosis Is often caused by smoking products such as cigarettes and cigars, smoking causes dry conditions in the mouth by reducing the amount of saliva allowing harmful toxins to build up leading to bad breath.

     Apart from causing bad breath excessive smoking can also cause lung cancer due to the build up of toxic chemicals within the lungs, as these chemicals settle for a long time they lead to an unpleasant order.

     Smoking excessively may also stain your teeth and Gums, this may further reduce your ability to test foods.If smoking is done over a long period of time it increases your chances of developing gum disease which can cause bad breath as well as damaged gums as seen from the paragraph on poor oral hygiene.Some studies have shown that tobacco smoke contains well over 50 aromatic hydrocarbons, in which most of these are linked to conditions like cancer as well as bad breath.

    Health Illness

     Some health illness that affect the lungs may cause bad breath,this might be due to the increase in the production of mucus or might be due ti side effects from the medication being used as these factors may cause Halitosis.

    Bad breath in illness that affect the lungs can be caused by several different ways, for instance in the case of some asthmatic inhalers that contain corticosteroids which may cause an oral yest infection.As this substance is inhaled it has the capability to increase the rate at which bacteria in the mouth grows, this is due to the fact that they perform like mild immunosuppressants.As explained in paragraphs above it is eminent that bacteria that are left in the mouth can combine with debris that are found within the teeth,gums and tongue, causing bad breath that is known as Halitosis.

    Another way in which the inhaler might cause bad breath is that it might cause an irritation the back of the mouth, which can lead to an infection which can lead to unpleasant order coming from the mouth.Asthmatic patients are occasionally affected by nasal allergies which can cause an increase in the amount of mucus being produced potential leading to bad breath, lastly wheezing can also make the mouth dry increasing the chances of suffering from Halitosis.

    In more serve illness that affect the lungs such as cystic fibrosis, may also be associated with bad breath.This association might be due to high occurrences of sinusitis as it causes chronic nasal discharge as well as nasal obstruction, as the mucus thickens and accumulates it can cause severe Halitosis.Cystic fibrosis according to research may cause an increase in the production of acids within the lungs, once these acids are exhaled through the mouth they can potentially cause bad breath.

    here's a short video by Medical centric that summaries the causes causes of Halitosis.


    Some Tips on Getting Rid of Bad Breath

    1.Maintaining very good oral hygiene

    As this includes things like brushing your teeth Regularly and making sure you rinse your mouth with anti bacterial products,ensuring that your teeth are clean after every meal can also help you have an less of a bad odor methods such as flossing in between teeth is highly recommended. lastly you can see your dentist as often as you possibly can in order for you to know a medical perspective of your oral health as this reduces your chances of suffering from Halitosis

    2.Staying hydrated

    Drinking a lot of water keeps your mouth moist as this helps stimulate the production of saliva, making it easy for bacteria,toxins as well as debris that are stuck in between teeth, to easily be washed away therefore preventing bad breath.

    3.Drink less Alcohol & Coffee

    Not only do these substances leave your mouth dry, they also leave smells that are difficult to get rid of within your mouth.When your mouth is dry it is less likely for saliva to be produced, as a result bacteria and food debris might not be easily washed away completely causing bad breath.

    4.Using Sugarless Mints & Gum

    Not only will you prevent yourself from tooth decay but you’ll be able to increase the quality of your breath, Mints and gum also help improve the flow of saliva when used after a meal. This helps to combat bad breath in the long run.

     There are some foods that can also help to get rid of bad breath, snacking on foods such as apple slices,raw carrots and even water fruits and other vegetables can also clear your mouth of an unpleasant odor,however some debris can be left in the process which can easily be cleared with some water.Limiting the amount of sugary products can prevent you from having a tooth decay,as this is usually caused by the bacteria that is kept over large periods of time.

    Other things that can be done to prevent yourself from bad breath is you can reduce the amount of smoking you do, because an increase in smoking prevents the mouth from staying moist due to the toxic chemicals that are inhaled.Excessive smoking can increase the likely hood of developing conditions that are harmful to your health such as gum disease as well as oral cancer,If you smoking its best that you see your dentist or doctor for advice on methods on how you can slowly reduce this habit.

     If you want to learn more about useful methods  that show how you can get rid of bad breath visit  


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