Common Causes of Bad Breath (And How to Combat Them)

emotions, expressions, embarrassment, and people concept - young woman or teenage girl wrinkling and closing her nose of bad breath


There is nothing as embarrassing as bad breath. People who suffer from this condition, otherwise known as halitosis, have difficult social lives. It is so disheartening to go for a date, only for it to turn sour thanks to bad breath. Talking to people while suffering from this condition can result in much agony, as your listeners can be turned away completely or crinkle their noses in disgust. You may be wondering what causes halitosis. Here are some of the common causes of bad breath and their remedies. If you suffer from this condition, we believe these tips will be of much help to you.


Smoking Cigarettes and Bad Breath

Cigarette smoking is a common cause of bad breath for people who engage in that habit. Cigarette smoke particles are usually left in the lungs and mouth, contributing to the immediate bad breath. This smell of a freshly smoked cigarette can linger for a long time in the lungs causing halitosis. Moreover, tobacco smoke has chemicals which are left in the mouth and which lead to subsequent bad smell.

The remedy for this cause of bad breath is simple – quit smoking cigarettes. Additionally, cigarette smoking is associated with many health problems, such as impotence, throat cancer, and lung cancer. It is therefore not a worthwhile habit.


Eating Strongly-Flavored Foods

Foods that have a strong smell before eating them can potentially cause a strong odor afterward. Things such as onion, garlic, fish, and spicy foods are known to be common causes of bad breath.

This bad odor can be combatted through chewing gum sweetened with xylitol or gum that is sugar-free. You can also mask the bad smell by eating something minty.



Red onions circles, green onion with garlic on board against wooden background


Gum Plaque and Diseases

Having an unhealthy mouth may lead to halitosis. If bacteria are allowed to grow around the gums and in between the teeth, then they will feed on the hidden food particles between the teeth and sulfur compounds eventually form, causing tooth damage and the bad odor.

Brushing your teeth regularly with toothpaste that contains chloride dioxide, and going for regular dental checkups is an effective way to combatting the bad smell.


A Dehydrated Mouth

A dry mouth is a healthy ground for bacteria to thrive and eventually lead to bad breath. With a dry mouth, there is no saliva that helps to prevent bacteria from multiplying and thriving. Keeping your mouth hydrated through regular water intake is a great way to combat the halitosis caused by dry mouth.

Healthy eating, proper dental hygiene, and visiting your dentist regularly can greatly help you in your journey to preventing bad breath.