bad breath

Bad Breath is defined as an unpleasant smell in the breath which is detectable by other people. Also commonly known as Halitosis.

How to know if you are having a bad breath/halitosis?

There are following 4 ways to detect bad breath

Method 1- smelling your saliva

Lick the inside of your wrist and wait for 5-10 seconds for saliva to dry and then smell. This is more or less what your breath smells like. How does it smell?

If this is unpleasant, then you need to improve your oral hygiene and visit your dentist. If it doesn’t smell like anything then your breath is probably not that bad but you need to try another test for confirmation.

Avoid doing this bad breath/halitosis detection test just after brushing or just after eating something minty, as it will give you false results.

bad breath home remedies

Method 2-smell your breath directly

Place your hands on the mouth and nose. Breathe out slowly through your mouth and then smell quickly. How does your breath smell?

If this is unpleasant then you need to improve your oral hygiene and visit your dentist. If this doesn’t smell like anything, then your breath is probably not that bad but there are chances that air can leak through your fingers, in that case, results may false.

bad breath treatment

Method 3- breathe into a clean plastic cup

Cover your mouth and nose with the clean plastic cup. Breathe out in the cup through your mouth and smell through your nose. How does it smell?

If it smells unpleasant then you have bad breath/halitosis and need to take care of your oral hygiene and visit your dentist.

what causes bad breath

Method 4- asking someone

You can ask your trusted close friend/family member whether you have bad breath/halitosis or not.  But don’t just breathe on someone`s  face directly and ask do i have bad breath/halitosis. if you spend some time in close contact with a person, they may have noticed it if you are having bad breath/halitosis or not.

halitosis causes

What is normal? Is it normal to have bad breath?

It is normal to have bad breath/halitosis in the morning or after eating onion/garlic/spices/alcohol/smoking. Besides these situations, if you have a bad breath/halitosis, there may be a problem causing it.

symptoms of halitosis


1. Poor oral hygiene

        Mostly bad breath/halitosis is associated with problems in your mouth. Plaque builds up on your teeth causes bad breath and gum diseases. If left untreated it can damage the gums, jaw bone and ultimately will lead to loose teeth.

bad breath symptoms

2. Other dental causes

these include dental caries, dental abscess, tooth infection, dry mouth, food lodgement, poorly fitting dental appliance, not cleaning your dentures properly. Sometimes wearing braces also causes food lodgment between teeth and wire which is difficult to clean and can lead to bad breath.

causes of bad breath

3. Illness and disease

chronic sinus infection, tonsillitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, gastro-oesophageal reflux disorder, diabetes, kidney or liver problems can cause bad breath.

bad breath home remedies

4. Medications

some like nitrates, tranquilizers, chemo drugs can cause halitosis.

halitosis causes

5. Food

certain food like onion, garlic, spices, cause bad breath/halitosis. After digestion these food enter the blood stream and carried to the lungs and affect the breath.

bad breath symptoms

6. Use of tobacco

smoking, chewing gutka and drinking causes bad breath.

how to get rid of bad breath

Treatment for bad breath.

bad breath treatment
halitosis treatment
  1. Brushing twice daily with soft bristled tooth brush. Replace your tooth brush every 2-3 months or after illness.
  2. Make sure to clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner after brushing.
  3. Use floss or inter dental brushes to remove food particles and plaque in between the teeth.
  4. Use antiseptic mouthwash to kill harmful oral bacteria. Avoid alcohol based mouth wash.
  5. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for general dental check up.
  6. Stop smoking and chewing tobacco.
  7. Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist and prevent dry mouth and will also help in flushing out the food and promotes salivary secretion.
  8. Eat fibrous fruits and vegetables. It helps prevent halitosis/ bad breath.
  9. Avoid eating processed foods that contain refined carbohydrates such as cakes, cookies.
  10. Use mouth wash after eating onion, garlic, meat, fish, or dairy products.
  11. Breathe through your nose.
  12. Keep your nasal passage clean and healthy. Allergies, sinus infection can cause bad breath / halitosis so visit your doctor for the treatment.
  13. Talk to your doctor about gastrointestinal problems if any.
  14. Clean your denture before placing in the mouth. Denture should be removed at night.

causes of bad breathbad breath causes

Will I need any test/ professional check up?

Your dentist will thoroughly examine your oral cavity and will look out if bad breath is due to dental reason or not. If no cause is found then you will need a further test or a visit to your physician.