Bad breath is embarrassing, and it is more common than you think. Although bad breath results from poor dental hygiene practices mostly, it might be a sign of an underlying health problem as well. 

Read here the possible causes of bad breath, medically known as halitosis, and ways to prevent it.

What causes bad breath?

The problems that can cause bad breath, include:

man breathing out fire obnoxious because of heartburn

  1. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It causes acid reflux (or heartburn), which, in turn, leads to bad taste and mouth odor.
  2. Liver problem. Studies propose that bad breath can be a potential diagnostic method to detect liver problems.
  3. Diabetes. Inadequate insulin production in the body may cause ‘fishy’ smell or ammonia odor in the breath.
  4. Lung infection. Underlying lung infections can also cause bad breath due to increased mucus production.
  5. Sinusitis. This inflammation of nasal passage causes microbial growth that can cause bad breath.

Besides the diseases mentioned above, bad breath can be linked to tonsillitis, prolonged fasting, dry mouth (medically called xerostomia), and medications too.

How to prevent bad breath?

Bad breath can be prevented if you:

man got his face covered in smoke

  1. Quit tobacco. Tobacco usage tends to dry out the mouth and contribute to bad breath. Quitting smoking also helps in overruling GERD symptoms.
  2. Munch on fresh veggies and fruits, such as carrots, celery, or an apple. These healthy snacks help in removing the bacteria from teeth, gums, and tongue, thereby alleviating bad breath.
  3. Avoid sugary food. Not only does it add to your waistline, but a lot of it can cause bad breath too, not to forget the cavities! Stay away from too much of sugar intake, and you’d do your teeth and gums a big favor.
  4. Drink a lot of water. Drinking water will keep you hydrated and your mouth moist. It will flush out any food particles that remain in teeth.
  5. Keep a check on the food you eat. Sometimes your gut might not be able to digest certain kind of food, thereby leading to bowel obstruction, which can affect mouth odor too. In case you suffer from bad breath, keeping a tab on your food platter is a good idea. You can share the details with your dentist to get to the root of the bad breath problem.

Asking you to practice good oral hygiene will only be reiterating the basics. Needless to say that brushing twice a day, flossing at least once in a day, and cleaning your tongue every day, will go a long way! Also, visit your dentist regularly to rule out any infections. Always remember that bad breath can cause more than just embarrassment and anxiety. Better prevent it!

For any queries related to bad breath or dental problems, you can consult a Dentist at

About the Author

Vidhi Ghildiyal

Vidhi is a writer and blogger with more than 6 years of experience in developing content for varied verticals.

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