Halitosis, referred to as bad breath, is one of the reasons why many people seek dental care. It is normal for people to only seek dental care after having gum disease and tooth decay. It is likely that you and many others are not aware of what causes bad breath and its effects. Several factors could trigger halitosis, but the major one is bad dental hygiene habits. In this informative article, we will explore the possible symptoms and causes of halitosis.

Bad breath symptoms

Although bad breath can cause discomfiture, some can have the condition without knowing. The smell varies from one person to another and may not be the same. This is because bad breath has many causes and your source of bad odor may not be your friend’s cause. Your mouth might have a bad taste. If you try brushing and the taste is persistent, the cause might be an infection or something else and not trapped food particles. In case you suspect you have halitosis, it is important to ask your closest friend to confirm.

Causes of bad breath

Halitosis starts in your mouth and here are the potential causes.

Dry mouth

Dry mouth is also known as Xerostomia. Saliva is a mouth cleanser that takes part in removing food particles that cause bad odor. So, bad breath comes as a result of reduced production of saliva. Naturally, halitosis occurs during sleep and may even worsen if your mouth is open as you slumber. Persistent dry mouth condition can be due to a salivary gland disease.

Food and drinks

When you do not brush or floss your teeth, the food particles that remain in your teeth increase bacteria and can cause bad breath. Some foods for example garlic, onions, red meat, and spices can also cause bad odor.  Drinks such as alcohol, orange juice, and coffee can also trigger bad smell.


Medications are useful, but they also have their effects. Some medication can decrease saliva resulting in halitosis. Other drugs when broken down in the body, they release chemicals that trigger the odor. Such drugs include nitrates that treat angina. Vitamin supplements are also likely to cause halitosis when taken in large doses.

Mouth infections

The fact that we use the mouth to eat doesn’t mean it cannot get infections. Mouth infections may be as a result of tooth extraction, oral surgery, gum disease or tooth decay. These infections can cause bad breath.

Poor oral hygiene

Flossing is one way of ensuring that there are no food particles trapped between your teeth. The food particles can cause a smell, and they also build up a plaque which might result in periodontitis. If you have dentures and are not cleaning them regularly, they can also produce bad smell.


Bad breath lowers your self-esteem and causes embarrassments. You can avoid all these embarrassments and the feeling of being uncomfortable when you are with your friends by practicing good dental hygiene habits. Drinking plenty water can help to avoid having a dry mouth which is another cause of halitosis.