Here’s Why Halitosis Happens and How You Can Correct It

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Bad breath (aka halitosis) is an unpleasant issue that can make interactions with people more uncomfortable. It can affect your social life, self-esteem, and business relationships. Even your dentist will tell you it can be triggered by food or general lifestyle choices. So here are several potential remedies for bad breath, including cutting out certain foods and quitting some habits.

Bad Oral Hygiene

You should never skip brushing your teeth because food particles remain stuck to your teeth after eating. Over time, the remaining food particles will break down and release an odor, resulting in bad breath. 

Solution: You can get rid of this stinky mouth by brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. You can also schedule routine cleanings through your dentist to get rid of plaque and tartar.

Food Choices

Certain foods and dietary choices you enjoy can cause bad breath, including:

  • Coffee.
  • Alcohol.
  • High-sugar foods and beverages.
  • Any meal with onion or garlic as garnishes.
  • Bad breath can also come from your stomach, meaning that these products or intestinal gas may still linger in your mouth.
  • An insufficient amount of carbs can also cause bad breath. When you drastically cut your carb intake, your body’s metabolism changes, resulting in halitosis.

Solution: There are no bones about this—adding mouthwash after brushing, and flossing will refresh your breath and effectively clean your whole mouth. 

If you have trouble freshening up your breath and want to take a more holistic approach outside your dentist’s recommendations, try eliminating foods that contribute to bad breath from your diet. If the odor from your mouth results from food stuck in your teeth, this can be a good step in the right direction.


Sometimes bad breath can be attributed to a side effect of certain medicines. Some drugs can cause dry mouth by decreasing the amount of saliva you produce or changing the salivary composition of your mouth.

Solution: First, talk to your doctor about alternative medications to reduce symptoms. Second, talk to your dentist about using a water flosser and other oral appliances to help reduce bad breath.

Tobacco and Nicotine-Based Products

Tobacco causes many dental problems as smoking, such as tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.

Solution: Your dentist will recommend Completely stopping tobacco use, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, and pipes, which can help prevent bad breath and tooth decay. Nicotine replacement therapies at your local pharmacies, such as gum or patches, can help you to cut out tobacco use.

Always consult your physician with any questions about tobacco use and how to stop using nicotine.


A fancy term for “dry mouth,” xerostomia is a medical condition characterized by a lack of sufficient saliva in the mouth. Although xerostomia is not an ailment that you can see or feel, it can cause bad breath in adults. Saliva is essential for cleansing the mouth of leftover food particles and other possible contaminants, so when saliva production is limited, these particles remain on the tongue and teeth. 

Solution: Many over-the-counter drugs can help relieve dry mouth, but if this treatment is not enough, discuss artificial saliva or sugar-free candy with your dentist to help reduce dry mouth.


If you still experience halitosis after practicing these steps, try chewing gum. It’s a temporary solution, improving saliva production while leaving a pleasant odor. It’ll also strengthen your jaw muscles, which is better for overall oral health.

When none of these halitosis solutions work, it’s time to book an appointment with a dentist in Sudbury, MA, at Sudbury Dental Arts! We serve patients with general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry from our comfortable Sudbury, MA, office. Schedule your visit now!



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