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One of the most obvious reasons for bad breath is your diet. Eating foods that have a strong odour such as onions and garlic can leave a pungent long-lasting smell. Also, indirectly sugary foods that are eaten frequently can lead to tooth decay which can give a very bad taste in the mouth.


Smoking is not only terrible for your general wellbeing but also for your oral cavity. It leaves a bad taste and smell from the mouth but it is also strongly linked to a severe form of gum disease (periodontal disease). People that actively suffer from this condition can experience halitosis, especially when it’s not treated by a dental professional.


Some medications can cause your mouth to become dry which can result in a condition called xerostomia leads to less saliva production which therefore means that the buffering effect of saliva and its ability to wash away bacteria isn’t effective as the flow is reduced.

Another reason for bad breath can also be due to infections such as respiratory tract infections, sinus problems and even issues with the stomach.

Oral cavity

Tooth decay and periodontal disease can be responsible for halitosis. The bacteria’s in the mouth that form when either or both of these dental diseases are present can give off a very strong odour and will undoubtedly leave a bad taste in one’s mouth.

Bacteria which generally resides on the back of the tongue is quite commonly a cause of bad breath. The small fissures allow bacteria to remain in these areas and can increase the chances of having bad odours if not effectively removed.
Poor oral hygiene and areas where food traps between the teeth is another cause of bad breath. Food that is left between teeth for a period of time will start to stagnate, therefore leaving once again a bad odour within your oral cavity.

How to prevent and solve halitosis

1. Reducing the types of food with strong odours will help a great deal especially if they are eaten on a frequent basis.
2. By stopping smoking this will significantly benefit your oral health and also will reduce bad breath.
3. Talking to your doctor about possibly changing medication, if it is causing a dry mouth and therefore bad breath, is a possibility however, it’s not always an option. Staying hydrated is also essential.
4. The most important preventative measure is good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day with a toothbrush, cleaning between the teeth twice a day with either floss or interdental brushes. In some cases, mouthwashes may be advisable, especially ones that target the volatile sulphates on the tongue, however they are usually advised to be used on a short-term basis. Finally brushing the tongue or using a tongue scrapper is recommended.  Your hygienist will advise you on what products, brushes and interdentally aids are most suitable for each individual.

Natalie Ladosu
Dental Hygienist