Halitosis, or more often called ”bad breath” is a real problem for some people even if it is considered a minor health problem. Halitosis is a real struggle and may cause you to be very shy and refrain from certain social activities.

Halitosis may be caused by different factors. It is not always easy to identify the main factor but many things can be evaluated in order to help identify the cause.

Food is generally the main cause of bad breath. A diet composed of garlic, onions, certain types of fish, a diet very rich in meat or fat may affect your breath. These foods, when digested, create substances that evaporate through your lungs.

A person that skips meals, smokes, is a heavy drinker, and consumes a lot of coffee may also have a bad breath. Halitosis may also appear in people with poor oral hygiene, throat, sinus or lung infections, dry mouth (xerostomia) that is mainly caused by salivary gland problems, medicines or mouth breathing. People that suffer from illnesses like diabetes, liver diseases, kidney diseases, lung diseases, sinus diseases or reflux may also suffer from bad breath.

Having bad breath is not always something we notice ourselves. It is common for people not to notice their own breath since the odor-detecting cells in the nose get used to the smell. It is mostly the other persons around you that are either going to tell you or they will step away from you when you are talking or making a face.


Some things can be done in order to identify the cause of halitosis. You are strongly encouraged to go see your dentist first since most causes of bad breath begin in  the mouth. Your dentist may suggest a cleaning with your dental hygienist and then perform an  examination in order to determine if the problem comes from your mouth. They will look at the gums for any signs of infection, they will look at your oral hygiene. They will also take a look at your salivary glands, your tongue, etc. If they can’t identify the source, they may refer you to a specialist or to your physician.

Products that are sold in pharmacies are going to help you in the short term but they will not correct recurrent bad breath. Try to stay away from products like mouthwash that contain alcohol, they may cause dry mouth which is not going to help with bad breath. Try to stay away from candies or gum that contain sugar.

To help with bad breath, there are a few things you can try at home first. It is recommended to brush twice a day, floss everyday and brush your tongue everyday. Make sure that you visit your dentist and your dental hygienist at least twice a year or as often as they recommend it.