4 Main Causes of Bad Breath (and how to get rid of halitosis!)

The truth about bad breath

Bad breath or halitosis is a condition that no one wants to talk about but may come after everyone.

Let’s first discuss what is halitosis?

It’s a condition where a person emanates an unattractive and unpleasant odor from their mouth. It could turn into a chronic problem if left untreated.

What are the causes of bad breath or halitosis?

  1. One of the most common ways people gethalitosis is through bad oral hygiene. If the mouth has lingering particles of food in it, the breakdown of the particles by bacteria creates sulfur compounds. This compound has a very unpleasant smell.
  2. Some medications could cause dry mouth which can lead to halitosis. Many patients on radiation therapy or chemo therapy develop mouth sores and dryness of the mouth that lead to bad breath.
  3. Many chronic illnesses where people are not able to properly clean their mouth and teeth due to their physical inabilities can cause bad breath. These illnesses include: autism, physical handicap, mental health patients etc. This is a common cause of halitosis.
  4. Some spices and food that have a strong smell or taste could cause halitosis.

How do you get rid of bad breath: 

  1. Proper oral hygiene: The number one treatment for halitosis is better oral hygiene. You should use products that don’t have any alcohol as this will cause dry mouth. Use of Dr. Brite products in this order; toothpaste, mouthwash, oral healing spray for adults and healthy teeth and gums spray for kids can immediately help this situation. Also, the use of a power toothbrush such as Dr. Brite’s Rejuvenate Sonic Toothbrush, which removes 10X more plaque, is the best tool to use. The rule of thumb is 2 minutes brushing twice a day, rinse with the mouthwash for 30 seconds then spit, followed by spraying 6-8 sprays and swish around 30 seconds, don’t eat or drink for 30 minutes. Also brushing your tongue is a must. Make sure you clean the entire surface of your tongue.
  2. Hydration: Your mouth needs to always be hydrated. Remember dry mouth causes bad breath. Always sip on water and have a sugar free gum handy to chew all day. Make sure to rinse your mouth with water if you don’t have access to a toothbrush for example after lunch.
  3. Food: Keep a log of what you eat every day.
  4. Dental checkup: Visit your dentist at least twice a year.

Having to deal with bad breath can be extremely embarrassing. Remember to keep up your oral hygiene routine even if it’s not easy to do so all the time.

Oral care is self-care!

To your health,
Dr. Pooneh Ramezani


1. What is the most common cause of bad breath?

Lack of personal hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath. Bacteria in your mouth break down food particles lodged between your teeth or elsewhere in your mouth. This process releases an unpleasant odor. Bacteria in the mouth can also cause tooth decay and gum disease.

2. Can bad breath be cured?

Good oral hygiene almost always prevents and treats bad breath. Mortality is relatively low, and the outlook is good. Some medical conditions can cause bad breath, which requires treatment.

3. How do you test for bad breath?

Use the wrist test. Your wrist or backhand should not be in constant contact with surfaces or objects. Wait 10 seconds before moving on. By sniffing the dry skin, you can detect foul odors. Poor breath can be transferred to a person's skin.