Also known as halitosis, bad breath is a result of poor oral hygiene habits, infections that occur in the mouth, unhealthy habits including smoking, and foods that you eat. Other culprits we can highlight include dry mouth, respiratory tract infections, systematic diseases such as diabetes, kidney, liver and lung disease and gastrointestinal issues, which may include acid reflux and other stomach digestion problems.

Signs & Symptoms

Bad breath odors vary, depending on the source or the underlying issue. Some people are way too concerned about their breath, although they have little or no mouth odor, while the rest have bad breath and don’t realize it. However, the underlying symptoms can be poor oral hygiene caused by the dental plaque, food debris and development of gingivitis. Because it’s difficult to assess how your own breath smells, try to smell your breath by placing your hand over your nose and mouth, and breath. Maybe even ask a relative and consider seeing a dental professional to confirm if bad breath is an issue for you and to ask how to treat it.


Most bad breaths start in your mouth and there are many possible causes including certain foods you consume (garlic and onions particularly), cigarettes, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, diabetes, dry mouth, sinus or throat infections, lung infections, kidney/liver failure and gastrointestinal issues.


It can be tricky to determine the cause of bad breath without the help of a healthcare professional, because there are so many possibilities of what may be causing it. So you might want to make an appointment with your dentist, who can diagnose and refer you to your family physician, or even another medical professional if needed.


Always make sure you’re practicing great oral care habits. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily will help to control plaque development and use of a tongue scrape will help control odor causing bacteria that can form on your tongue. Use of floss is essential, to keep spaces in between your teeth clean. Visiting your dentist twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning are also excellent steps.

Related Conditions

Although bad breath may be nothing serious, if simple self-care techniques don’t solve the problems, you should consult with your dentist or physician.

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