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Why does my breath smell bad and how to cure it?

Why does my breath smell bad and how to cure it?

Bad breath or Breath malodor or Halitosis means an unpleasant odor of the exhaled air, or foul or offensive odour emanating from the oral cavity. It affects up to 5 per cent of the population and there are lots of factors that can contribute to this frustrating and often embarrassing condition.

An excess of dental plaque in the mouth is the main contributor to halitosis, with four out of five cases occur from an abundance of plaque on the tongue. Dental plaque is a combination of food and bacteria which adheres to teeth surfaces.

Fortunately, this problem is often easy to fix through good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist.

Causes of Bad Breath (Halitosis)


  1. Poor oral hygiene
  2. Decay of teeth
  3. Dry mouth
  4. Coated tongue
  5. Oral infections
  6. Pharyngitis, Tonsillitis, Sinusitis


  1. Food- Garlic, Onion, Spices, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Radish, Asparagus.
  2. Beverages like Coffee, Tea & Alcohol.
  3. Hunger
  4. Smoking
  5. Various diseases like Lower respiratory tract infection, diabetes, Kidney failure, Liver disease,Dehydration.


Any drug causing dry mouth- Cytotoxic drugs, Isosorbide dinitrate, Disulphiram etc.


  • Consequence of low salivary flow and stagnation during sleep
  • Rectified by eating, tongue brushing, tooth brushing & rinsing the mouth with water


Removal of plaque

  • Prevention of calculus formation
  • Brushing and flossing regularly
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Tongue cleaning


  • Depends on the diagnosis & treatment of underlying cause
  • Oral hygiene- prophylaxis, tooth brushing, flossing, tongue cleaning
  • Oral antiseptics like chlorhexidine
  • Patient education
  • Systemic factors elicited from medical history & investigation
  • Avoid smoking
  • Taking regular meals, increasing high-fibre foods and avoiding sugary drinks and foods, especially sweet snacks between meals
  • Psychogenic causes can be managed by counselling

At Normanhurst Dental, patients often ask us about bad breath and what they can do to prevent or manage it.

Our recommendation consists of a dental check-up to diagnose and treat the underlying cause as well as a professional clean and polish to remove built-up plaque and tartar.

To book an appointment, click here or please call us on 02 99898565 or e-mail us at

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