Causes Of Bad Breath and How To Get Rid Of It?

Last updated on September 7th, 2022

Halitosis, or as commonly known, bad breath, is a widespread problem. It is estimated that it affects almost one-fourth of people worldwide. Bad breath is considered an embarrassing problem that might ruin your social and personal life drastically. Many people avoid having a close face-to-face conversation with someone having halitosis. This problem might even ruin your career and relationship.

Moreover, you cannot make sure if you have a fresh breath or not by yourself. Asking a family member or a close friend might not be possible or comfortable at any time. Fortunately, today’s technology like Halimeter or BANA test allows us to objectively measure the exact odor level in our breath.

Objective measuring of the odor is a good step to start. Hence, you can be sure if you really have bad breath or it is just you that feel some bad smell in your breath. Another thing that makes this problem harder to overcome is its various possible reasons, and many people cannot know where to start. However, there are still ways to approach this problem. Although there are quite a lot of potential sources of the problem, we can put them into two main categories; dental problems and non-dental problems.

causes of bad breath

As the name suggests, dentally originated problems are those resulting from an underlying problem with your teeth, gums, or tongue. Non-dental issues refer to problems with your stomach or other inner organs. Let’s learn a bit more about them.

Non-Dental Causes of Bad Breath

Non-dental problems can be regarded as the deeper sources of bad breath. The most common ones are gastrointestinal issues, acid reflux, lung or kidney problems, pneumonia, bronchitis…etc. Bad breath might be just one artifact of such health issues, and it is a good signal of an underlying problem. Therefore, you should get the necessary medical treatment to deal with the health problem when you have bad breath, even after achieving good oral hygiene.

Dental Causes of Bad Breath

As for dental causes, you should, again, consider a bunch of possible problem sources. If you are sure that your inner organs are working well with no infection or damage, the underlying problem might be something in your mouth. You can also understand this by testing your breath soon after brushing your teeth and floss in between. If your breath is better when you achieve oral hygiene, most probably, your teeth or gums cause bad breath. The potential reasons might be gum diseases, a decayed tooth, or dental treatment you have received before, such as dentures, composite veneers, or porcelain veneers.

Gum Diseases

Gum diseases are one of the most common reasons for stinky breath. Gum diseases, also called periodontal diseases, start with gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of more severe problems in your gums, and the treatment is relatively easier at this phase. However, many people are not much aware of the problem at this stage or ignore it. At this stage, a bacterial film of plaque covers the teeth and leads the gum to get red and swollen. The gums having gingivitis bleed and feel sore, especially when you brush your teeth. If you don’t take care of the problem at this stage, it proceeds into periodontitis, which is the advanced form of the disease. 

At this stage, the bacterial layer of your teeth releases toxins that irritate your gums. Your gums usually respond to this attack with an inflammation that damages the tissue and even the bones supporting your teeth. After a while, your teeth and gums get separated, and the infection sets in the room in between. That creates bad breath and loss of teeth.

Another dental cause of bad breath is a dental treatment that you got earlier. Veneers, implants, or dentures might be lifesaving in most cases, but if you don’t get the proper treatment or don’t take good care of your teeth after the treatment, you can end up with a stinky breath.


Veneers (porcelain veneers, in particular) are commonly used since they provide patients with effective solutions to their teeth problems. Porcelain veneers have been opted for their higher durability. Typically, a porcelain veneer itself doesn’t cause any odor in your mouth. But, if it is not placed correctly, there might be gaps or ledges, which make up a good shelter for the food particles and bacteria. Therefore, you need to take care of your oral hygiene even more seriously and meticulously after getting veneers treatment. Once you fail to do so, you end up with a stinky breath, unfortunately.

As you see, high-quality material (porcelain veneers) doesn’t guarantee a fresh morning breath. Although porcelain veneers have superior durability compared to composite ones, the quality of the treatment and your oral care is still of great importance. If you have composite veneers or are planning to have them, you should bear in mind that composite materials don’t provide high durability. So, they have a greater potential to be responsible for the bad breath.


A denture is another treatment that may cause bad breath. First, as you know, dentures should be removed and cleaned thoroughly. Skipping this cleaning might cause an accumulation of bacteria between the gum line and teeth, translating into stinky breath later on.

Secondly, many denture users have dry mouth problems since they produce less salvia due to the dentures. Since a dry mouth is a perfect place for bacteria breeding, people wearing dentures might be more prone to bad breath.

Finally, dentures can also make a bad odor by irritating gum tissue if not designed and placed correctly. In such cases, denture users also suffer from sore or infected gums.

how to get rid of bad breath

How to Get Rid Of Bad Breath?

Depending on the underlying cause of bad breath, you can take action to get rid of bad breath. There are things you can do at home, and we can do in MDC for you.

What Can You Do?

We can understand that many people seek a home remedy for bad breath before taking further steps. Here is a shortlist of what you can do at home to eliminate stinky breath at home;

  • Brush And Floss Your Teeth

Food can be trapped between your teeth and also between your gums and teeth. The food particles in your mouth produce bacteria, which trigger many other problems in your mouth aside from bad breath. Although brushing is always recommended, you should also floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing helps you make sure your hard-to-reach areas are freed from food particles and bacteria. By the way, you should brush and floss gently since brushing and flossing too hard might make your teeth and gum more vulnerable to decay.

  • Use Mouthwash

There are a lot of mouthwash products on the market. They are very practical to use. You need to swish the mouthwash solution for less than a minute and spit it out. They give you a quick rinsing by killing the bacteria, and this makes you feel good. Also, you can make your own mouthwash at home by adding some salt and baking soda to the boiled water. That is also a good alternative for those who are into natural remedies for bad breath from the stomach if you drink a little bit of it. However, you should remember that rinsing your mouth just after toothbrushing is not a good idea since it might decrease the effect of brushing.

  • Clean Your Tongue

When we talk about oral hygiene, people tend to think of cleaning their teeth and gums only. However, your tongue takes up a big space in your mouth, and there are a lot of bacteria that live happily there. Therefore, along with your teeth and gums, you should also clean your tongue by scraping it. There are scrapers on the market designed particularly for this job. Also, some toothbrushes have specially designed heads to clean the tongue.

  • Avoid Certain Foods

As we all know, some food like garlic and onions leave a relatively more pungent odor in our mouth. Brushing the teeth just after eating them doesn’t remove the bad breath from the throat, stomach, and lungs. You can do nothing but wait until you get rid of stinky breath after you eat them. Therefore, you should avoid eating them, especially before socializing with people at work, school, or a party.

  • Stop Smoking

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. It causes cancer and many other diseases in the long term. In addition to its long-term effects, it also does remarkable harm to your teeth, gum, and overall oral health. Yellow teeth and bad breath are one of the most innocent damages that you can get from smoking.

What Can We Do for You at MDC?

At our clinic, we take halitosis seriously, and we analyze the problem carefully first. If you have taken any action previously, we consider that and offer you the most efficient solution possible. In most cases, we detect faulty or worn-out dental treatments in your teeth, such as dentures, veneers, or implants. Most of the time, we end up renewing your treatment in a more dexterous fashion. However, it is still possible to give good maintenance to your veneers, dentures… etc., without changing them.

All In All…

Bad breath or halitosis is a severe problem. It is not only about breathing fresh or stinky, but it might be a signal of more serious issues. Finding out the underlying cause of bad breath is vital to take further action. If the underlying reason is not something oral but deeper, you should see a doctor and get medical treatment before visiting your dentist. If the cause of the bad odor is something in your mouth, seeing a dentist will deal with the problem. Your dentist may advise you to follow some home remedies yourself or take some actions to remedy the situation. The actions depend on the health of your gums, teeth, or the soundness of your earlier dental treatments.

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