What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breadth is a very common serious and persistent state which usually signifies a poor oral hygiene. It is characterized by noticeably unpleasant odor exhaled in breathing. It is one of the most embarrassing symptoms a person can have.

The condition is usually caused by overpopulation of certain types of oral bacteria such as streptococcus mutans. Millions of people throughout the world suffer from bad breath. It can be caused by poor dental hygiene, gum diseases, throat infection, improper diet, indigestion, inadequate protein digestion, liver malfunction, stress, or imbalance of normal flora in the colon.

Bad breadth is not a disease in itself, but a symptom only. Bad breadth is associated with teeth problems. Plaque on the tongue can cause bad breadth where bacteria can grow. Bad breadth is also called as “breadth odour’, ‘halitosis’, ‘ozostomia’ and ‘foul breadth’.


Bad breadth may be caused due to various reasons. Though the causes of breath odor are not entirely understood, most unpleasant odors are known to arise from food debris trapped in the mouth which is processed by normal mouth flora; there are over 400 types of bacteria found in the average mouth. Several dozen of these can cause trouble when allowed to flourish or are genetically disposed to overpopulate. Large quantities of these naturally-occurring bacteria are often found on the posterior of the tongue, where they are undisturbed by normal activity. Some of the possible causes of bad breadth are as followings:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease (e.g. gum boils, abscesses, spongy gums, gingivitis)
  • Multiplication of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth and digestive tract
  • Candidiasis
  • Chronic sinus infection
  • Certain medications (especially those that cause dry mouth as a side effect)
  • Smoking
  • Some foods can cause bad breath (garlic, onions, anchovies, high protein diet)
  • Poor digestion and sluggish liver
  • Pungent or spicy foods
  • Constipation
  • Deficiency of vitamin B and Zinc
  • Plaque on the tongue
  • Diabetes
  • Tooth decay


The main strategy to cure bad breadth is to find the cause and remove the causative factor. There are various remedies used to cure bad breadth. Some common home remedies include:

  • Brushing of teeth after every meal
  • Brushing of tongue along with teeth regularly
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Avoiding mouthwashes with dyes and alcohol

    Medicinal herbs are effective in cleansing the digestive system of all bacterial condition. Foeniculum vulgare (Sweet Fennel) has been used as a diuretic, anti-spasmodic and calmative herb. It is also excellent digestive tonic and has been long used as an aid to sweeten the breadth. Carduus marianus (Milk Thistle) is regarded as one of the most important herbal liver tonics and restoratives and helps to restore healthy liver functioning, bile production and digestion, thereby helping as an eliminator of toxins in the body and the digestive tract. It is used as liver detoxification and cleansing. Besides, parsley, coriander, clove and anise seeds are great breadth fresheners. Intestinal cleanse products are available in the market which cure bad breadth effectively. Vitamin A and C are necessary for good dental health. Essential oils as a mouthwash can be effective and helpful than other commercial mouthwash. Acidophilus supplement may help in keeping growth of harmful bacteria and yeast under control and hence protecting from bad breadth.

    1. James F.Balch, Mark Stengler. Prescription for Natural Cures. Johnson Wiley & Sons, Inc. New Jersey.pp81-84. 2004
    2. http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/teeth/breath.html

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