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Bad Breath: Causes, Treatment and Home Remedies

Bad Breath: Causes, Treatment and Home Remedies

by Zahra Ijaz · May 11, 2021

Everyone at one point in their life deals with Bad Breath. However, in some cases, it can persist even with good oral and dental hygiene.
Bad Breath has many potential causes.
According to a study, about 80-85 % of cases are due to underlying conditions in the mouth. The rest of the time, certain conditions outside of the mouth may be the cause of this problem.
This article explores the potential Causes, Treatment Options, and certain home remedies you can try at home.


Bad Breath (Halitosis)

About 25% of the people all around the world once in their life face the problem of Bad Breath. Medically, doctors refer to it as Halitosis.
There are different causes of Halitosis, however, a vast majority comes down to oral and dental hygiene.
It can cause significant worry, embarrassment, and anxiety however, it is relatively easy to get rid of it.

Bad Breath

Bad Breath or Halitosis is a very common problem that can lead to psychological distress in many people. Moreover, anyone can suffer from it.
About 1 in 4 people have bad breath on a regular basis according to one estimate. This is the third most common reason why people seek dental care, after tooth decay and gum diseases.
However, it is important to note that simple home remedies and lifestyle changes can improve your oral and dental hygiene.
But if it persists, it is advisable to visit your doctor as it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.


Symptoms of Halitosis

Bad breath odor varies and depends on the underlying medical condition.
Some people may worry too much even when there is little or no odor. However, others have it and are unaware of it. As it is difficult to access how your own breath smells, you can ask either your parents, siblings, partner, or friends to confirm you’re bad-breath questions.


Causes of Bad Breath

When we eat food or drink water or other beverages, food might get stuck in your mouth or beverages might contribute to form acid which can attach to the enamel of your teeth.
Moreover, every night plaque builds up on your teeth, which is like a sticky liquid. You might notice it in the morning when you wake up.
Brushing daily in the morning helps you to get rid of acid and plaque in the morning. It also helps to remove the food stuck in your teeth and gums.

Causes of Bad Breath

If you do not take care of your oral and dental hygiene and ignore brushing your teeth daily, the bacteria that causes acid can produce sulfur in your mouth.

This sulfur can lead to bad breath, especially if you do not brush to get rid of them.

However, brushing alone does not always treat it. If the underlying causes of your bad breath are not in your mouth then they might be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Let us look into some potential reasons for bad breath even after you daily brush your teeth.

Cavities and Gum Diseases

Periodontal diseases like cavities and gum diseases can cause Halitosis. The bacteria that causes bad breath in your mouth can hide in Cavities in your teeth.


This makes it difficult to get rid of it even when you brush your teeth because it is hidden in places your brush cannot reach.
In the same way, when gum diseases cause small pockets in your teeth, the bacteria can hide in these deep pockets can cause bad breath.

Dry Mouth

The saliva in your mouth has many roles. It helps to break down the food particles in your mouth, and also helps to chew, swallow and speak.
Moreover, it helps to keep the bacteria in your mouth at a certain level, washes away food particles from your mouth, and keeps it hydrated.
When your mouth does not produce enough saliva it can cause dry mouth. A dry mouth can result in more bacteria build-up on your teeth and can lead to bad breath.
It also increases the risk of tooth decay and gum diseases.
Different medications, tobacco products, alcohol can lead to dry mouth.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD or chronic acid reflux is a digestive disorder and can cause your stomach contents to flow backward into your esophagus.
This regurgitation of food and stomach acid can cause bad breath. It is also the cause of heartburn and a sour or bitter taste in your mouth.

Underlying Medical Conditions

Certain underlying medical conditions can also be the cause of bad breath. This is because of the chemical changes in your bloodstream or changes in the level of bacteria in your body.
Some health problems include:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Failure or kidney diseases
  • Liver Failure
  • Peptic Ulcer
  • Intestinal Blockage
  • Salivary glands issue

Food Items

Certain food items like garlic and onions may linger on your breath even after brushing your teeth.
For instance, it takes a day or so for garlic breath to go away. Once the garlic reaches your stomach, the oil passes into your bloodstream where they reach your lungs and then breath.

Food Items

A study in 2016 found that raw apple, raw lettuce, and mint leaves are able to deodorize garlic breath.

Postnasal Drip

It can also contribute to bad breath. The mucus in your nose can attract bacteria which in turn can create odor and cause bad breath.
Moreover, sinus infections, colds, flu, and strep throat can be possible causes of postnasal drip.


Tobacco and tobacco products, smoking them can cause a bad odor in your breath. It can linger on and even cause dry mouth and cause gum diseases.
Both dry mouth and gum diseases contribute to bad breath.


Treatment Options

After realizing that you have bad breath, it is important to seek medical help or consult your dentist.
It is important to do so, as in some cases, bad breath might be due to certain medical conditions and you are unaware of them.
Moreover, the best method to reduce Halitosis is to keep up with oral and dental hygiene.
Brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and using tongue scrapers can help.


Maintaining good oral and dental hygiene not only ensures that you are getting rid of harmful bacteria and food stuck between your teeth and gums, but it also ensures that there are no cavities.
Cavities can develop on your teeth if you do not brush regularly. They can destroy the enamel and if you do not get the treatment it can cause further damage to the dentin and pulp causing infection and inflammation.
Moreover, the plaque can harden and form tartar around the gum line and if you do not brush and floss regularly, it can develop into gum diseases.
Therefore, it is important to brush your teeth twice and floss at least once a day.


Moreover, dentist all around the world recommends that you should visit them at least twice in a year, for check-ups and cleaning.
Your dentist may recommend toothpaste that includes an antibacterial agent or an antibacterial mouthwash.
However, if there are gum diseases present, they might need professional cleaning to clear out the build-up of bacteria in pockets between your teeth and gums.
You can visit our clinic for dental checkups.


Home Remedies

According to the American Dental Association, brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, using floss or dental picks, heating a healthy diet, and limiting your sugar intake, regular dental check-ups, and brushing or scraping your tongue can help to improve bad breath at home.
However, in addition to oral hygiene, let’s dig into some home remedies for bad breath.
You can visit our clinic for Dental Scaling and Polishing.

Home Remedies

Baking Soda Rinse

According to a study, baking soda rinse is a cheap alternative to chlorhexidine and alcohol mouthwashes.
Moreover, to use it at home, mix 2 tbs of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water. Swish the mixture in your mouth for at least 30 seconds before spitting it out.
Bakinng Soda Rinse

Drink more Water

If the underlying cause of bad breath is dryness in your mouth, then increasing the intake of water can help to reduce the bad breath. Moreover, it will help to hydrate your mouth.
In addition, chewing on sugar-free gum also helps to stimulate the release of more saliva.

Pineapple Juice

Many people claim the drinking pineapple juice can help to manage bad breath.
You can either drink a glass of 100% pineapple juice or chew a slice of pineapple to get rid of it.

Fennel Seeds

Since ancient times, fennel seeds have been used to keep your breath fresh.
Try nibbling a teaspoon of seeds after a meal. It helps to freshen your breath. Moreover, it helps to digest the food which can help manage bad breath.

fennel seeds

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking and tobacco products can help you treat bad breath.
Smoking can even cause cavities and dry mouth, so, therefore, when you quit smoking, these conditions improve, thereby, improving mouth odor.

Medical Treatment

In case your bad breath persists despite keeping up with good oral and dental hygiene, it is important to seek medical advice or consult your doctor.

quit smoking

Your dentist can help identify any signs and symptoms of gum diseases or mouth dryness that may be causing it.
Moreover, the best treatment options depend on treating the underlying medical conditions,
For instance, if you have GERD, making changes to your diet and OTC medications can help improve it and make your mouth moist.
Moreover, if you have gum disease, then deep cleaning of your teeth can help to get rid of it.


It is possible to develop bad breath even after practicing good oral and dental hygiene.
There are different causes of bad breath and in most cases, they originate in your mouth. However, conditions like acid reflux and certain other medical conditions may be the cause of it.
If you are already practicing good oral and dental hygiene and still have bad breath, it is advisable to consult your dentist or seek medical advice. They can help identify the root cause and recommend the best treatment for you.

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