Bad breath is a common problem with which almost every person has dealt during their lifetime. It can be said that this is the reason why the peppermints and chewing gum industry is considered the most profitable industry across the world. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be resulted due to various factors. Some of the most common causes include:


  • Inadequate dental hygiene: If you don’t routinely clean and floss your teeth, food particles may lodge in your gums and between your teeth. These contaminates may attract germs, which may result in foul breath.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva assists in washing away food and germs that may contribute to bad breath. Insufficient saliva to wash away these particles may result from a dry mouth, which can cause foul breath.
  • Certain foods: Some foods, including garlic and onions, can contribute to bad breath because they break down in the stomach and release an odour through the lungs.
  • Smoking and the usage of tobacco products can leave you with poor breath and discolour your teeth.
  • Medical problems: Aside from diabetes, sinus infections, acid reflux, tonsillitis, and other diseases can also contribute to poor breath.
  • Medications: A number of medications due to their specific properties of ingredients can induce dry mouth, which can contribute to foul breath.


What are the types of bad breath smells?

Bad breath caused due to any reason can be embarrassing and not all bad breaths are the same in smell. The type of smell can often provide a clue as to the underlying cause of the bad breath. Reason and possible medical issues can be predicted by identifying the type of smell. Here are some of the most common types of bad breath smells and the conditions that may be associated with them.

  • Metallic smell: This type of bad breath can have a metallic odour and can be caused by a dry mouth or certain medical conditions such as diabetes and the result of medications.
  • Rotten smell: This type of bad breath can have a rotting or decaying odour and can be caused by certain medical problems such as an infected tooth, or tonsil stones.
  • Fishy smell: The fishy smell of bad breath indicates that one possibly has kidney failure or liver disease. These organs work for creating urine and removing toxins and waste products from the body. When the kidney becomes damaged, it is no longer able to filter the waste and it starts to mount up throughout the body that causes a fishy smell.
  • Fruity smell: Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that takes place when the body begins to break down fat for energy instead of glucose because of high blood sugar levels and lack of insulin. This process produces a chemical called ketones which can give a fruity or sweet smell to the breath.


Is there a cure for bad breath?

Treatment for bad breath depends on the underlying cause, however, in most cases, bad breath can be effectively managed and treated with proper oral hygiene and lifestyle change. Here are some ways to treat and prevent bad breath:


  • Maintain proper oral hygiene by using an antiseptic mouthwash, brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, and practising good oral hygiene to get rid of plaque and germs that can lead to bad breath.


  • Brushing or scraping your tongue can assist to get rid of the germs and other substances that might lead to bad breath.


  • Maintain hydration: Keeping your mouth wet can assist to wash away germs and food particles that can cause bad breath.


  • Avoid certain meals: Onions and garlic are two items that might contribute to foul breath.


  • Quit smoking using tobacco products as they could be responsible for bad breath and stain your teeth.


  • When to see a dentist?

In some cases when implementing all the above-mentioned treatments and home remedies does not work, one may consult the dentist. Moreover, if you are experiencing bleeding and swollen gums which are painful too, or if you are having problems with your dentures, you should immediately see a dentist and try over-the-counter medicine as prescribed.

Sometimes, medical conditions such as tonsil stones, sinus infections, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can produce bad breath. In these situations, addressing the underlying issue can help to reduce bad breath.


Should you worry about bad breath in children?


Usually having bad breath after waking up is common and it goes away when you clean your teeth and eat or drink something after that. There are some more reasons that can cause bad breath in children and teenagers, such as gum diseases or gingivitis, blocked nose or sinus infection, throat abscesses, and tooth abscesses. There is no need to worry about bad breath if it is caused by these mentioned reasons since as soon as the problem will resolve, the bad breath will certainly be cured itself.

However, it is recommended that parents should regularly visit dentists for general check-ups of their children in order to prevent bad breath and any possible issues. The best way to manage and prevent bad breath is to practice good oral hygiene. However, you should immediately make an appointment with your dentist if further mentioned symptoms of issues are consistent with your child:

  • When your child is experiencing extremely bad breath in the morning.
  • When there is any family history of medical issues that cause bad breath
  • When bad breath still remains uncured even after taking care of oral hygiene


What causes bad breath from the stomach?


When bad breath occurs from any stomach disease or issue, it is called gastric halitosis. There are several conditions that can cause this issue such as GERD, H.pylori infection, constipation, Helicobacter pylori, and food intolerances and allergies. Heartburn and poor breath are symptoms of GERD, a disorder in which stomach acid rushes back into the oesophagus. Additionally, the stomach acid can leave the mouth with a sour or bitter taste, which can worsen foul breath. Also, an ulcer-causing bacterium called H.pylori can infect the stomach. In addition to other symptoms including nausea, bloating, and stomach discomfort, this illness can also result in bad breath.

Please note: Advice and opinions in this article are not that of Medicine Drop. You should always consult your pharmacist or GP directly should you have any health related questions or concerns.