Bad breath is one of the commonest oral complain. Bad breath or halitosis has been frequently projected as a reason for lack of intimacy or confidence can affect personal and social life. It can be a total turn off during conversations. 


There are several reasons which can cause bad breath including:

1. Poor oral hygieneOne of the top reasons is irregular brushing. Food particles stuck between teeth can cause an oral stink. Broken, crooked teeth also hamper oral hygiene. Regular brushing can correct this problem.

2. Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can reduce saliva production. Saliva cleanses the teeth and removes any left over food particles. Also it contains several antibacterial properties which prevent bacterial growth and decomposition in mouth. Sipping water frequently washes away any food let in mouth or any acids produced by bacteria.  

3. Ketogenic diet: A low carbohydrate diet can lead to a condition called ketosis. It can be described as fruity smell, metallic taste. This can occur in diabetic patients or when your body burns excess fat. 

4. Medications: Certain drugs can cause dry mouth thus causing bad breath.  Certain types of medications can cause swollen gums or are known to contribute to bad breath. 

5. Digestive issues: Acid reflux, or more accurately, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is when digestive juices flow up the esophagus into your mouth. This is highly acidic and contributes to dry mouth and bad breath.

6. Drinking coffee/ tea: Coffee is both dehydrating and acidic. This can contribute to bad breath. The milk and sweeteners added can further promote bacterial decomposition in mouth.

7. Smoking: Smoking tends to dry out the mouth and give bacteria an environment in which to thrive.

8. Alcohol consumption: alcohol causes dryness of mouth. It also causes an alcoholic breath. Keeping hydrated is key to prevent halitosis.  

9. Sticky sweets: Caramels and desserts  are sticky and tend to settle into the grooves of teeth. This feeds the bacteria responsible for bad breath issues.

10. Food:  many food items like garlic, onion, can cause bad breath which can stay for hours. 


1. Brushing twice a day is essential to keep mouth odor free. 

2. Brushing the tongue: many people forget to brush the tongue which can harbor millions of bacteria. Cleaning tongue with toothbrush can prevent halitosis.

3. Avoiding food and beverages which can cause bad breath.

4. Use of sugar free mints or kitchen items like clove, fennel (Saunf) can help prevent halitosis. 

5. Use of mouthwash

6. Flossing can remove food particles stuck in between teeth. Regular flossing is key to maintain good oral health. 

7. Eating right food: rough fibrous foods like apple, grapes, oranges can remove residual food from teeth thus preventing bad breath.

8. Visiting your dentist: Covering up breath issues with mints/ mouthwash may temporarily solve the problem, while the underlying cause continues. Dentist can provide a permanent solution. He will guide how to brush the correct way. Your dentist can advise professional cleaning which will remove teeth deposits and provide clean tooth surface. 

9. Getting decayed or broken teeth treated: removing areas for food entrapment can prevent bad breath.