Bad Breath: Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Bad Breath
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Also known as halitosis, bad breath is the most common embarrassing oral problem most people are concerned of! No wonder people often switch to various flavoured mints, gums and mouthwashes to combat against the bad odour of the mouth. However, all of these only mask the smell but can’t provide permanent solution to the problem.

A number of factors like bad habits, poor health conditions and specific foods can cause bad breath. Also improper oral hygiene is another significant factor as well. So, you need to treat its original cause to get rid of bad breath. Here, we will find out most effective options of treatment for bad breath. Let’s start…..


At first the dentist will smell the breath from the nose and mouth to compare and rate the odour. As mostly bad breath occurs from the backside of tongue. Some sophisticated detectors are now readily available which incorporate the dentist to figure out the presence of the chemical causing bad breath.


For the prevention against bad breath:

  • Brush the teeth post eating-

    Carry a toothbrush along to brush right after having something. Whenever you are going to brush use fluoride-contained toothpaste. It possesses antibacterial properties which can fight against bad odours effectively.
  • Floss once daily –

    Flossing is essential once daily for the removal of plaque and trapped food particles from the mouth. By this way, the chance of bad breath will get halved.
  • Tongue must be brushed –

    Tongue can harbour bacteria and thus gentle brushing can alleviate the odour. A tongue scrapper will help the people with coated tongue especially from dry mouth. They can even use toothbrush which comes with an in-built cleaner as well.
  • Clean dental appliances and dentures –

    While wearing a denture or bridge make sure to clean it one time a day or as per dentist’s instructions. You should wash your mouth guard and dental retainer every time you are going to put it into the mouth. 
  • Keep your mouth moist –

    Drinking of lots of water and quitting smoking is essential for keeping the mouth moist. Instead of water don’t try out alcohol, soft drinks or coffee as it can cause dry mouth. Saliva production can be stimulated by sucking on candy and chewing gums. You can use artificial preparation of saliva for chronic dry mouth. Even the dentist can suggest oral medication that promotes production of saliva in the mouth.
  • Diet adjustment – 

    You sould avoid foods resulting in stinky smell like garlic and onions to prevent the occurrence of bad breath. Limit the intake of sugary foods as it can cause bad breath as well.   
  • Obtain new toothbrush regularly –

    Replace the toothbrush immediately when it gets frayed after continuous using for 3-4 months. Always prefer soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Make regular dental appointments –

    It is imperative to visit the dentist at a regular interval for basic check up. On an average you should pay visit to your dentist 2 times a year for professional cleaning and examination of dentures and oral health properly.


You need to eliminate your bad breath for the prevention of oral health from gum disease. Hence, one has to practise proper oral care regime on a daily basis. Depending on its exact cause, further treatment can vary for the bad breath. If it is the potential warning sign of any underneath medical condition, you need to contact with a primary healthcare provider.

For improving oral health, the dentist can suggest you to have good control on the dental condition by following a couple of measures such as:

  • Toothpastes and mouth rinses –

    Whenever bad breath results from bacterial build up (plaque), your dentist will prescribe a specific mouth rinse for killing the bacteria. Even toothpaste will be recommended which contains antibacterial agents so that it can eliminate the bacteria causing plaque build-up.
  • Dental diseases treatment –

    Sometimes the patient is referred to periodontist. It is so; because gum disease pulls away the gum from teeth allowing a pocket that gets filled by odour-causing bacteria over time. Professional cleaning is the only thing you need at that point of time to get rid of those bacteria. Rarely, tooth restorations can be also needed to combat against the breed of bacteria as well.

Prepare for the appointment

Do you have any plan to visit the dentist for the evaluation of your smelly breath? Then the below-mentioned tips can be your ideal assistance for preparation:

  • Always opt for morning appointments as dentist are more likely to address bad breath at that time. It lessens the probability of hindering the oral assessment due to little-to-no consumption of food.
  • Avoid applying scented lip gloss, balm and lipstick, scented lotions and perfume while getting ready to head to the clinic. It will cover up any odour making it problematic for the dentist to diagnose the issue correctly.
  • For any intake of antibiotics in the previous month, look up for rescheduling the dental appointment.

Your expectation from the dentist

On visiting the dentist, your health history will be evaluated with a session of interrogation. You have to answer a number of questions like;

  • The first time of experiencing bad breath
  • Is this consistent or occasional
  • Frequency of cleaning the dentures and brushing the teeth
  • How often do you floss?
  • Types of food you like to consume
  • The names of supplements and medication you are taking at present
  • Your medical condition right now
  • Whether you inhale via your mouth or not
  • Do you have snoring habit?
  • Are you allergic to prone to sinus?
  • Your suspect of causing bad breath
  • Whether any people commented or noticed your condition

Depending on the answer you give the treatment will be started followed by diagnosis. Hence, you have to be prepared to face some annoying and really awkward questions to get rid of bad breath. Or visit at to schedule regular dental checkups to address any minute oral problem in its initial stage.




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Alice Christina, a seasoned health writer, combines her passion for wellness with a strong foundation in evidence-based research. She crafts insightful content that empowers readers to make informed health decisions. Alice's expertise shines through her concise and reliable health articles.