What Causes Halitosis: Its Symptoms and Treatment

What Causes Halitosis: Its Symptoms and Treatment
Smiles On Hickman

Smiles On Hickman


Over 25 percent of the human population is affected by bad mouth odor. Halitosis or bad breath can be linked to many factors, oral hygiene being the most crucial. However, halitosis is not contagious and can be easily cured.

Causes of Halitosis/bad breathe

Bad breath or halitosis is usually associated with sulfur-produced bacteria that live on the surface of the tongue as well as in the throat.      

Other factors include:

  • Oral health 

    Brush and floss regularly to ensure the removal of food particles that cause bad breath. If you wear dentures, make sure you clean your dentures daily.
  • Dry mouth 

    Saliva rinses and removes unwanted food particles from your mouth and fights substances that may give way to infections and cavities. If your mouth does not produce enough saliva, it may lead to dry mouth and, in turn, cause bad breath. Medications, excess of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco are factors linked to dry mouth. 
  • Smoking and tobacco 

    Tobacco products leave a bad odor in breath and also cause dry mouth, leading to halitosis. Regular smokers develop gum disease, which causes halitosis. 
  • Nose, mouth, and throat infections 

    Post-nasal discharge due to sinusitis can cause bad breath. Also, small, stone-covered bacteria formed on the tonsils at the back of the throat can produce bad breath.
  • Food 

    Some foods, like onion or garlic, can cause bad breath, which is short-lived. Food particles left in the mouth and stuck in the teeth can also produce mouth odor. 
  • Chronic diseases 

    Diseases like liver failure, cancer, and metabolic conditions produce certain kinds of chemicals which relate to halitosis. Bile and acid reflux from the stomach is also associated with halitosis. 

Symptoms of Halitosis/Bad breathe

  • Dry mouth.
  • A burning sensation on the tongue.
  • Bad breath in the morning.
  • Food particles and bacteria build up on gums and teeth.
  • Thick saliva formation in the mouth.
  • A constant need to clear the throat.
  • Post-nasal drip or mucous formation.
  • Persistent sour, bitter taste in the mouth.
  • A white coating on the back of the tongue.

Related video:

Treatment of Halitosis/Bad Breathe 

  • To fight bad breath, brush your teeth at least twice a day. If possible, brush after every meal. 
    Floss to remove food particles and plaque formed between the teeth.
  • Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper to remove bacteria and dead cells that grow on the tongue.
  • If you have dry mouth, drink plenty of water, chew sugarless gum, and reduce intake of caffeine to get saliva naturally flowing inside your mouth. 
  • Those suffering from chronic sinusitis can use a saline nasal spray to fight halitosis. 
  • Reduce the consumption of alcohol. Garlic, onion, and spicy food should also be avoided.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for oral hygiene and check-up. 

Halitosis can be easily treated with these remedies. If bad breath persists, then get help from your dentist in Des Moines. Schedule your appointment with Smiles on Hickman and get expert dental care for all your oral health problems. 

Smiles On Hickman

Smiles On Hickman

Smiles on Hickman is a family dental practice located in Des Moines, IA. We are committed to providing the best, personalized dental care solutions to patients and their families. Our well-trained and experienced team of dentist in Des Moines,IA ensures that our patients feel comfortable during their visit with us. We use advanced dental techniques that enable us to provide quality care in the fields of cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, sedation dentistry, oral surgery, and more. We strive to form long-lasting bonds with all our patients and offer them a lifetime of healthy smiles.