Before going to solution for bad breath, let us see various causes for bad breath.
Bad breath (Halitosis) may be because of various reasons. Most Important one is bad oral hygiene. Although halitosis has multifactorial origins, the source of 90% cases is oral cavity such as poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease, tongue coat, food impaction, unclean dentures, faulty restorations, oral carcinomas, and throat infections. The other reasons are multi-factorial and may be considered as non-oral sources.
Non-oral sources are generally related to systemic problems and/or medications. Several extra oral diseases, including bronchial and lung infections, kidney failure, different types of carcinomas, metabolic dysfunctions and biochemical disorders, can cause halitosis. Some medications, especially those that reduce salivary flow may also be the source of this condition. Certain foods, tobacco, alcohol, gastric causes, paranasal infections, tonsillitis also cause bad breath.
Halitosis of oral origin is associated with poor oral hygiene, dental plaque, dental caries, gingivitis, stomatitis, periodontitis, tongue coating and oral carcinoma. Dry mouth might also be the cause.
As a dentist, I am more concerned about halitosis of oral origin.
Dental and periodontal causes of bad breath include, calculus deposits on teeth, decayed teeth, partially erupted third molars, food impaction between teeth.
Calculus deposits on teeth can be removed by professional scaling by a dentist.
Decayed tooth have to be restored. Partially erupted third molars have to removed if there is no room or space for eruption of that tooth. Food impaction may be because of decay between the tooth or may be because of gum infection also called as gingivitis or periodontitis. So food impaction has to be evaluated for the cause and has to be treated accordingly by dentist.
Simple measures that can avoid bad breath include brushing twice daily, flossing the teeth, proper tongue cleaning, use of mouth washes, visiting dentist once in 6 months and frequent water intake.