Bad breath or halitosis is the most common oral health concern. Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is primarily caused by bacteria in the oral cavity. These bacteria metabolize the sugars and starches in our food, releasing gases and producing an unpleasant odor. The condition can be exacerbated by dehydration, poor oral hygiene, decayed teeth, gum or bone disease, or underlying systemic conditions. It’s important to note that halitosis could also be an indication of an underlying health issue in other parts of the body.

Regular dental checkups and professional scaling can help with halitosis. In this article you will learn about the causes and some effective remedies for bad breath.

bad breath

What Causes Halitosis?

Conditions that cause halitosis are sinus infections, lung infections, digestive issues, kidney diseases, liver diseases, and diabetes.

Halitosis occurs due to painful, swollen, or bleeding gums, toothache, or ill-fitting dentures. If treated in its early stages, this condition is reversible. 

Effective Remedies for Bad Breath

Let’s talk about the remedies or oral habits you can include in your regime to get rid of bad breath naturally:

Poor dental hygiene leads to bad breath. Preventing plaque accumulation can maintain good oral health. Brushing teeth using fluoridated toothpaste for two minutes at least twice daily works wonders. Bacteria accumulate on the tongue, causing a foul smell. Tongue cleaning or tongue scraping can help remove a thin layer of accumulated debris. Flossing is a technique where a small inter dental or proxy brush is used to clean the spaces between the teeth. These spaces cannot be reached using regular toothbrushes.

Dental Hygiene

Dry mouth can majorly cause halitosis and other health concerns. When the salivary glands do not produce adequate saliva to clear food particles from the mouth, it can lead to a dry mouth. Water helps control bacterial levels and eliminate bad breath from the stomach. The most common cause of halitosis is dehydration. Medications and diet also alter the moisture present in the oral cavity. It is recommended to consume 2.7 liters of water per day for females and 3.7 liters per day for males, including water from foods and beverages.


Dental plaque and gum disease or gingivitis also cause halitosis. Herbal mouth rinse is a homemade mouthwash containing tea tree oil, cloves, and basil that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Herbal rinses reduce plaque and gingivitis along with the level of bacteria in the mouth. A mouth rinse containing tea tree oil, clove, and basil, can improve oral health and reduce halitosis. 

Certain bacteria in the oral cavity release volatile sulfur compound chemicals. They turn into gas and cause bad breath. Bacterial cultures of P. gingivalis and Porphyromonas endodontalis, commonly found in the oral cavity, were treated with either tea tree oil or chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine is the most common antimicrobial mouthwash.

Green tea can be an effective remedy for bad breath due to its antibacterial properties and ability to neutralize odors. Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea daily, using it as a mouthwash, or combining it with mint can help reduce bacteria and freshen your breath. Also, green tea gum or tablets offer convenient on-the-go solutions. Incorporating green tea into your oral care routine can promote better oral health and maintain fresh breath.

Probiotics are live bacteria beneficial for health. Eating foods that layer the mouth with probiotics helps to reduce the bacterial load in the mouth, which improves bad breath. All yogurt has probiotics, as they are necessary for the fermentation of milk into yogurt. Probiotic yogurt has higher levels of these bacteria. 

Probiotic yogurt and xylitol chewing gum were shown to reduce Streptococcus mutans bacteria in saliva. Eating probiotic yogurt prevents tooth decay and treats halitosis, just like xylitol gums.


Probiotic Yogurt

Tea tree oil reduces bacteria growth and the emission of volatile sulfur compounds. A tea tree oil rinse can be made by diluting a drop of tea tree oil in a few drops of vegetable oil and mixing this into a cup of warm water. Swish this solution in the mouth for 30 seconds, and then spit out. Use the entire cup of water. Avoid swallowing tea tree oil, as it is not safe for consumption. Tea tree oil is a good mouthwash for halitosis.


To make a breath freshener after meals, try making a palate-cleansing tea. Add fennel seeds, star anise, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger to hot water and allow to steep for a few minutes. Add strong-smelling herbs like spearmint, peppermint, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, or thyme. These herbs and spices contain antimicrobial agents and help fight bad breath.

Zinc decreases the sulfur chemical in breath. Regular rinsing with a zinc mouthwash can reduce bad breath. Zinc chewing gum is specially made for people with dry mouths, and dietary supplements containing zinc can also reduce dry mouth.


Bad breath is a common problem caused by different lifestyle choices and poor oral hygiene. Harmful bacteria in the mouth can cause bad breath. Persistent halitosis can be a sign of serious gum or tooth issues. You should see a dentist if you feel that these conditions could be causing halitosis.

Say Goodbye to Bad Breath at Dental on First!

Are you struggling with bad breath? Our expert team at Dental on First can help you identify the root cause and provide effective treatments to keep your breath fresh and your mouth healthy.

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