Bad Breath and 6 common questions

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Bad breath, sometimes known as unpleasant odor or Halitosis, can be embarrassing and, in extreme cases, make people apprehensive. It seems to be the reason that there are so many gum, mints, mouthwash, and other stuff on store shelves designed to counteract bad odor. However, because they do not address the underlying problem, many of these products are essentially band-aid solutions.

Certain foods, medical concerns, and behaviors are all factors that contribute to bad odor. You may frequently minimize bad breath with consistent, effective dental hygiene. If simple self-care treatments are inadequate, see a dentist or doctor to rule out a more serious disease as the cause of your bad odor.

Bad breath
Can you smell your own breath? What causes horrible smelling breath? Why does my mouth smell even after brushing?


The root or underlying cause of bad smells differs. Some people are very concerned about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odor, while others have awful breath and are unaware of it. Because it’s tough to judge how your own breath smells, get confirmation from a close friend or family.

If you have bad odor, review your oral hygiene procedures. Consider making lifestyle changes such as drinking enough water, flossing your teeth, and washing your teeth and tongue after meals.

Consult your dentist if your halitosis still exists after making these modifications. Your dentist could suggest that you see a doctor to identify the source of the odor if they think that your foul breath is the result of a more serious disease.


Most cases of poor odor occur in the mouth, and there are several potential reasons. They are:

  • Food: Food particles breaking down in and around your teeth can cause bacteria development and foul smells. Onions, garlic, and spices can all contribute to bad breath. These things enter your circulation after digestion, circulate to your lungs, and have an effect on your breathing.
Onions, garlic, and spices can all contribute to bad breath
Can you smell your own breath? What causes horrible smelling breath? Why does my mouth smell even after brushing?
  • Tobacco products: Smoking has an unpleasant aftertaste. Another reason of foul breath is gum disease, which is more common among smokers and tobacco users.
  • Poor dental hygiene: Food particles that are not cleared from the mouth by regular brushing and flossing may cause bad odor. Plaque, a sticky, white bacterial covering, forms on your teeth. Plaque, if not removed, can irritate your gums and eventually cause plaque pockets to form between your teeth and gums (periodontitis). Germs that create odors can be collected on your tongue as well. Food particles and odor-causing bacteria can build up on dentures that aren’t cleaned regularly or don’t fit properly.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva cleans your mouth while also removing bad-smelling particles. Dry mouth, commonly known as xerostomia, can cause poor breath due to decreased saliva production. Sleeping with your mouth open exacerbates dry mouth, which promotes “morning breath” naturally. A problem with your salivary glands, as well as a few other illnesses, can all contribute to persistent dry mouth.

See more: Gum Disease and 7 main symptoms
See more: Tartar and 6 ways to prevent it

Bad breath
Can you smell your own breath? What causes horrible smelling breath? Why does my mouth smell even after brushing?
  • Medications:Several medicines may accidentally create foul breath by inducing dry mouth. Other substances can be broken down within the body to release compounds that are then exhaled.
  • Infections in your mouth: Bad breath may develop from dental decay, gum disease, mouth sores, surgical wounds following oral surgery, such as tooth extraction.
  • Other mouth, nose and throat conditions: Tiny stones that form in the tonsils and are covered with odor-producing bacteria can sometimes produce foul breath. Infections or persistent inflammation in the nose, sinuses, or throat can cause bad odor in addition to contributing to postnasal drip.
  • Other causes: Chemicals generated by diseases such as some cancers and metabolic disorders can give patients a distinct breath odor. Bad odor might be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is characterized by the continuous reflux of stomach acids. A foreign item, such as a piece of food, being lodged in a child’s nose may cause foul breath.


Your dentist will most likely smell both your nose and mouth breath and rate the odor on a scale. Your dentist may also scrape the back of your tongue and grade its odor because this is where the smell usually begins.

The compounds that cause bad odor may be found using sophisticated detectors, albeit they aren’t always accessible.

How to treat bad breath?

These suggestions might be helpful if you want to your bad breath in office:

  • In order to lessen the possibility that things you eat during the day may interfere with the exam, dentists typically prefer early visits for bad breath examinations.
  • To avoid masking any scents, avoid wearing perfume, scented lotions, scented lipstick, or scented lip gloss to your visit.
  • Ask your dentist whether your visit has to be changed if you’ve taken antibiotics within the past month.

Maintain proper oral hygiene on a regular basis to reduce bad breath, help prevent cavities, and lower your risk of developing gum disease. Further treatment for bad odor can take a variety of forms, depending on the cause. If it is discovered that the reason for your foul breath is an underlying medical concern, your dentist will most likely recommend that you consult your primary care physician.

Bad breath
Can you smell your own breath? What causes horrible smelling breath? Why does my mouth smell even after brushing?

Your dentist will consult with you to help you better manage conditions caused by oral health issues. dental precautions might include:

  • Toothpastes and mouth rinses:If plaque accumulation on your teeth is the source of your bad breath, your dentist may recommend a germ-killing mouthwash. Your dentist may also recommend an antimicrobial toothpaste to battle the germs that cause plaque buildup.
  • Dental illness treatment: If you have gum disease, you may be sent to a gum specialist (periodontist). Gum disease can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, creating big pockets filled with bacteria that emit unpleasant smells. Sometimes hazardous bacteria may only be removed by professional cleaning. Furthermore, because damaged dental restorations are a breeding ground for bacteria, your dentist may recommend replacing them.

Dental routine

To lessen or prevent bad breath:

  • Brush your teeth after you eat: Keep a toothbrush at work to use after eating. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, preferably right after meals. Bad breath odors have been shown to be decreased by toothpaste with antibacterial properties.
  • Floss at least once a day: By flossing properly, you may eliminate bad breath by removing food particles and plaque from between your teeth.
  • Brush your tongue: Brushing your tongue lightly may assist to cover up odors since it includes germs. A tongue scraper may be useful for persons whose tongues have become coated as a result of a severe bacterial overgrowth (caused, for instance, by smoking or dry mouth). You may also use a toothbrush with a tongue cleaner built in.
  • Clean dentures or dental appliances: If you have a bridge or denture, make sure to thoroughly clean it at least once a day, or as recommended by your dentist. If you wear a mouthguard, make sure to clean it before placing it in your mouth. Your dentist can prescribe the best cleaning solution for you.
Dental routine
Can you smell your own breath? What causes horrible smelling breath? Why does my mouth smell even after brushing?
  • Avoid dry mouth: Avoid smoking and drink plenty of water instead of coffee, soft drinks, or alcohol, which can cause your mouth to dry up. Chew gum or suck on sugar-free confectionery to increase salivation. To treat chronic dry mouth, your dentist or doctor may offer an oral saliva-stimulating medicine or artificial saliva preparation.
  • Adjust your diet: Consume less foods that might cause bad breath, such as onions and garlic. Eating a lot of sugary foods is also linked to bad breath.
  • Regularly get a new toothbrush: Replace your toothbrush every three to six months, or when it becomes worn, and choose one with soft bristles.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups: See your dentist at least twice a year to have your teeth or dentures examined and deep cleaned.

See more: Oral Hygiene: 6 Tips to Improve Oral Hygiene


What causes horrible smelling breath?

Bad breath is caused by bacteria that emit smells and grow in the mouth. Bacteria thrive on food particles left in your mouth and between your teeth when you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis. Because these bacteria release sulfur compounds, your breath stinks.

Can bad breath come from the stomach?

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows up into the esophagus. Because stomach acid erodes tooth enamel, cracks that trap food can form. Bad breath might be caused by misplaced stomach acid.

Why does my mouth smell even after brushing?

Mouth infections can cause bad breath. If your dentist has ruled out other possibilities and you brush and floss every day, the reason of your foul breath might be something else, such as sinusitis, stomach reflux, diabetes, liver disease, or renal disease. In this case, seek the advice of a medical doctor.

Can bad breath go away by itself?

Halitosis is the medical word for bad breath. Unpleasant breath is common when you first wake up. It usually goes away when you drink something and clean your teeth. Bad breath that persists may signal the presence of another ailment.

Can you smell your own breath?

By licking your wrist, letting it dry, and then sniffing it, you should be able to distinguish the scent of your breath. After flossing in the back of your mouth, you may also smell the floss. Alternatively, use a tongue scraper or a toothbrush with soft bristles to gently scrape your tongue. After that, smell the scraping.

Will bad breath ever go away?

Most people can get rid of persistent halitosis by treating the underlying cause. Changing your oral hygiene routine might be as simple as that. If your recurrent bad breath is caused by a medical condition, finding a remedy that works for you may need some trial and error.

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