Bad breath, otherwise known as oral malodour or halitosis, is a build up of volatile sulphur compounds and other gases produced by bacteria. These gases form an unpleasant odour, which is noticeable when one speaks or breaths out. Often this is worse after a night's sleep and is called "Morning Breath". Oral malodour mainly occurs from an accumulation of real bacteria if the whole mouth is not thoroughly cleaned daily.

Everybody gets bad breath or halitosis on a regular basis, no matter how good your oral hygiene. Bad breath is usually caused due to poor diet, drying of the mouth, not brushing teeth regularly, illness, low fluid intake, stress, lack of salivary flow and exercise. Some people are more prone to bad breath (halitosis) than others, and need to pay extra attention in order to maintain fresh breath.

Do I have bad breathe?

To detect whether you have bad breath, the best way to check is to ask a family member, partner or a close friend for their opinion. Another simple way to check if you have bad breath is to lick your wrist. Leave the saliva to dry and smell the area for any unpleasant odours.

Causes of Bad breathe (halitosis)

  • Smoking, alcohol and coffee causes bad breathe.

  • Mouth, throat and sinus infections cause bad breathe.

  • Poor oral hygiene and dental disease is also a likely cause of bad breathe.

  • Dry mouth - e.g. speaking a lot or mouth breathing because of nasal polyps or hay fever for example.

  • Cancer of mouth, throat or respiratory tract.

  • People who have gum disease have bad breathe.

  • Certain foods such as onions, pizza, garlic, alcohol and spicy foods can cause bad breath.

Home Remedies

  • Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

  • Regularly brush teeth after meals and before sleeping and floss your teeth regularly.

  • If the tongue is coated, gently remove once or twice a day using a tongue cleaner.

  • Avoid frequent spicy foods and excessive alcohol or coffee. Also stop smoking.

  • Skip sugar. Sweet snacks feed bacteria.

  • Avoid. Skip breath foulers such as onions, garlic, ice- cream, and coffee.
Visit a Dentist/Doctor if

  • Home remedies fail to help you.

  • You have any symptoms in addition to the bad breath, which is a dental problem, for example bleeding of gums, pain, fever, cough, phlegm, horse voice or any change in the appearance of the mouth, tongue, gums and throat.