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Banishing Bad Breath: Causes, Prevention, and Remedies

Home > Blogs > Banishing Bad Breath: Causes, Prevention, and Remedies

Banishing Bad Breath: Causes, Prevention, and Remedies

Dental Sciences | by Dr. Apratim Ganguly | Published on 16/08/2023


Are your store shelves overflowing with mints, mouthwashes, and other products meant for fighting against bad breath? Well, it’s no wonder. Most of the households are filled with such products. According to a survey, it is found that around one out of every individual experiences bad breath. 

There is no doubt that bad breath can lead to embarrassment when people are around. If you are someone dealing with bad breath, hoarding products will not help until the cause is not identified.

Bad breath also referred to as halitosis can affect every individual once in their lifetime. Bad breath can occur in the teeth, mouth, or as an outcome of an underlying health condition. It is identified as a temporary or permanent problem. 

If you have bad breath issues, then book your appointment with a top dentist in Kolkata at the Calcutta Medical Research Institute and consult highly-experienced professionals. 

In this blog, we will cover comprehensive information about bad breath, its causes, diagnosis, and treatment options. However, kindly know that it is research-based information and doesn’t construe the dentist's consultation.

What is bad breath?

Halitosis is a clinical word for bad breath. Every person suffers from bad breath from time to time. It mainly happens when someone eats garlic, onions, and other food items that are strong in odor. If bad breath is not going away, it means that the person has an oral health issue affecting other body parts.&

Bad breath is identified as a symptom of different conditions. It is like a warning trigger from the body. Determining the main cause of bad breath is the initial first step to treating the problem. 

There are some health conditions and habits that might be causing bad breath. In certain cases, it is simple to improve bad breath with regular and proper dental hygiene. If it is not helping, then visiting a professional dentist is required.

Bad breath symptoms

The primary lousy breath symptom is bad-smelling breath that doesn’t go away quickly. The odor is often very strong and can be observed by other people easily. Additionally to a bad smell, the patient might observe a bad taste in the mouth. The taste will not disappear even after brushing if it is because of an underlying condition and not due to food particles.

Bad breath causes

Poor oral hygiene is one of the primary causes of bad breath. Harmful bacteria enter the mouth without oral hygiene such as brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings. It leads to problems like gum illness, and cavities. While improper oral hygiene is the common cause of bad breath, there are other conditions as well linked to halitosis: 

  • A dry mouth causes bad breath if there is not enough saliva formation in the mouth. 
  • Head and neck cancers cause unhealed sores, mouth pain, difficulty swallowing, and neck lumps. All this leads to bad breath. 
  • Gum disease causes inflammation in the gums causing bleeding, redness, and swelling. Caused by plaque, it leads to various symptoms like bad breath.
  • Nose, throat, and lung infections lead to coughing up the liquid having the effect of smelling bad.
  • People having diabetes experience gum diseases which also cause symptoms like bad breath.

There are other conditions as well such as liver, kidney, and Sjogren’s syndrome which is linked to bad breath.

How is bad breath diagnosed?

Bad breath diagnoses are initiated by a dentist who will begin the testing by smelling the patient's breath and asking questions about issues. The doctor often suggests booking an appointment for the morning before brushing the teeth.

The doctor usually asks questions such as the kinds of food the patient eats, brush and floss frequency, and allergies-related questions. 

To confirm the diagnosis of bad breath, the doctor might smell the mouth, nose, and tongue to identify the odor source. If the source is not determined, then the doctor will prescribe for diagnosing any underlying condition or disease.

What are the options for bad breath treatment?

The best option for bad breath treatment is practicing oral hygiene. In addition, the treatment might vary depending on its cause. If it is because of an underlying condition, then the dentist suggests primary care. 

Certain dental measures are recommended such as: 

  • Mouth rinses and toothpaste: if bad breath is because of plaque buildup, then the dentist might recommend using a mouth rinse that helps in killing the bacteria. Antibacterial toothpaste is also recommended for killing the bacteria causing plaque accumulation.
  • Dental disease treatment: If the patient has gum disease, then the patient is recommended to a periodontist. Tooth restoration is usually used as a treatment option.

Tips to reduce bad breath

There are home remedies for bad breath that can help in preventing this issue. Here are these tips: 

  • Brushing teeth after eating
  • Flossing once a day
  • Brushing the tongue
  • Cleaning dental or dental appliances 
  • Avoiding dry mouth 
  • Changing brush every three to four months 
  • Scheduling regular dental checkups


Bad breath is a common problem but it causes a sense of embarrassment or low self-esteem. It is important to know that one shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Bad breath is an indication by the body that something is wrong. However, the best part is getting rid of bad breath is not complex. By involving poor dental hygiene and certain home remedies, you can easily resolve the issue of bad breath. If bad breath is due to an underlying condition, then you should get in touch with a healthcare professional to know your treatment options.



How to avoid bad breath?

It is recommended to involve practicing good oral hygiene in your daily life to avoid bad breath. 

Can gum disease cause bad breath?

Yes, gum disease is one of the causes of bad breath.