Bad breath: cause & home remedy

Bad breath reasons and solutions

Everyone has experienced it: smelling bad breath. Breathe that stinks and smells like rotten eggs. About 25% of people sometimes suffer from bad breath, also called halitosis. A striking statistic: according to research, about 84% of people suffer from bad breath from a colleague or teacher.

You don’t just use your mouth to eat and drink. You also talk, laugh and you can also kiss. Bad breath (halitosis) can be very annoying and hinder you in social traffic. Can you prevent and cure bad breath? In this blog we will update you on preventing and remedying bad breath.

Causes of bad breath

You can stink out of your mouth from causes outside the oral cavity or inside the oral cavity.

Bad breath from outside the oral cavity

The cause of bad breath does not therefore have to come from poor oral care. This could be due to:

  • respiratory diseases;
  • stimulants;
  • medicines;
  • diabetes mellitus
  • liver or gastrointestinal disorders
  • inflamed tonsils / sinuses

You can have bad breath from causes outside the mouth. Bad breath (halitosis) is often due to poor oral hygiene. The cause of a stinky breath almost always lies in the oral cavity itself.

Bad breath through the oral cavity

The most common cause of bad breath is within your oral cavity. To be precise: on the back of your tongue. Research has shown that this is the number 1 cause of bad breath.

Here’s the thing: there are a lot of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria can convert sulfur-containing proteins into sulfur compounds in places where there is little oxygen. These sulfur compounds cause unpleasant odors and can be smelled at very low concentrations. In addition, saliva protects you against those bacteria.

For example, you can get a dry mouth from coffee, medication or alcohol. A dry mouth can therefore also cause you to get bad breath. In addition, a dry mouth can cause a bad taste or bad breath.

Halitosis and inflamed gums

Bad breath (halitosis) can also be caused by inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) or breakdown of fibers of the jaw bone (periodontitis). That is why it is important to brush your teeth well. Preferably do this with a good electric toothbrush. A good electric toothbrush brushes more accurately and removes considerably more plaque.

Cleaning your tongue

As said; the white deposit on your tongue for the most part means that you can have bad breath. But why is that?

The back of the tongue has many grooves and a rough tongue surface. If you stick out your tongue, you may sometimes see a white / yellow deposit on the back of the tongue. That attack mainly consists of bacteria. It causes bad breath. And this also applies if you have slept all night. Especially with your mouth open.

During your sleep, little saliva can form and little oxygen is absorbed in the oral cavity. This increases the amount of sulfur compounds: this causes bad breath. As a result, you will not smell so good from your mouth in the morning. You can clean your tongue with a tongue scraper or “just” with an electric toothbrush.

Tips for bad breath

It is wiser to get good oral hygiene than to chew yourself completely drowsy on the latest gum. Have your teeth checked regularly by a dentist or dental hygienist. In addition: also clean your teeth with dental floss or a water floss.

Below are all tips for bad breath made clear:

  • Clean your mouth after eating; especially with foods that contain a lot of protein. Think of milkshakes, milk, fish and meat. It is always good to rinse your mouth with a glass of water after a meal.
  • Fancy a glass of wine? Whether the weather is nice and you are sitting on a terrace or you want to enjoy a red wine while eating; it is important to drink a glass of water afterwards. Alcohol ensures that less saliva is produced and this is convenient to replenish by drinking water after the wine.
  • Drink enough water. Drink enough water (2 – 2.5 liters) every day to prevent a dry mouth as much as possible.
  • Try not to drink too much coffee. Experts recommend drinking no more than 3-4 cups a day. Coffee can cause a dry mouth and thus halitosis.
  • Visit the dentist at least twice a year
  • Brush your teeth and gums well
  • Clean the back of your tongue extra well.
  • This can be done with an electric toothbrush or with a tongue scraper.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent or fix bad breath, we have written another article about good oral hygiene or tips for white teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get bad breath?

Everything starts with good oral care. This means that it is important to clean your teeth, gums & tongue well.

What is the main cause of bad breath?

White deposits on the back of your tongue cause a foul odor in your mouth. This is due to sulfur bacteria on the back of your tongue.

How can I avoid getting bad breath?

By cleaning your tongue well, this can be done with a tongue cleaner or an electric toothbrush, for example. In addition, it is important to drink enough water.

Can I get bad breath from a dry mouth?

Saliva protects your mouth from bacteria. If you don’t drink enough water or suffer from a dry mouth, you can’t make enough saliva. This can cause you to get bad breath.


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