Bad Breath: Causes, Precautions, and Management

Before now, each time I come across an individual whose mouth produces an ugly smell as he speaks. (This is called mouth odor or bad breath). I begin to think that the person doesn’t take good care of his teeth, doesn’t brush his mouth properly, or doesn’t brush his tongue. Yet looking at the person as he speaks his teeth look so white and sparks like the stars in heaven. I begin to wonder what might be the cause.

What is Bad breath?

Bad breath is also referred to as halitosis, but for easy reference, it is called mouth odor. It is a persistent and embarrassing foul smell that comes out from the mouth of its victim. It is a bacterium that attaches itself to the mouth and tongue of an individual, mostly caused by bad oral hygiene

A colleague in my workplace. The first day she resumed duty, she approached me and asked a question in a whispering manner. Her breath stinks as she speaks, and all I could do is hold back my breath while I shift my face away to answer her question.

Do you know that a lot of people who have bad breath don’t even know they have it? Yes, most of them don’t know it. Because having brushed their teeth and tongue properly, they move about talking to people without realizing the breath from their mouth produces a smell that scares other people away.  They only get to know it when those people they talk to, tells them they have bad breath.

Most people ask this question;

Question 1

Is bad breath contracted, inherited or can it be as a result of not taking adequate care of the mouth?


Bad breath is a disease that develops from the mouth, that has some bacteria hiding in the teeth or tongue. It is not contracted because it is not an air-borne disease otherwise each time the person talks everybody around will easily get infected.

On the other hand, it can also be contracted when you start doing certain things like smoking, alcohol drinking, and from the diets you eat. That is, you may not be having a bad breath but when you start doing all these you may contract it

It is not equally inherited otherwise either, or both parents of the individual with bad breath will also be victims alongside other children of the same parent.

Yes, it can be as a result of not taking adequate care of one’s mouth. Because the bacteria that found itself to the teeth and tongue were attracted by the particles of foods left in the mouth.

Question 2

Again, if bad breath actually generates from the mouth, then why isn’t everybody not affected? Because there are people who don’t even brush twice, or take precaution like those with bad breath, but still has good breaths


It depends, sometimes it can be natural in the sense that the individual might be born with it. Those individual with bad breath has its genetic from the mouth. But those without bad breath only needs to take good care of their mouths.

Taking the story above, an individual can still possess bad breath even though he brushes his teeth and tongue always. Notwithstanding that his teeth spark like a crystal. Even if the person takes the whole precaution. These are the people that naturally have it.  In such a case, it only needs extra precaution to prevent it and a cure to stop it

Question 3

Why is bad breath persistent, even after taking such precautions?


It is persistent in the mouth of the individual who has it because it’s a bacteria that needs extra treatment before it can be cured. Taking precautions is to prevent it, otherwise, it will persist. But to cure it you need to visit a dentist for proper guidance. So, it can persist after taking precautions because you need to see a doctor or dentist.

Having said the above let’s look at some causes of bad breath (Halitosis).

Tobacco smoking

This can cause bad breath in the mouth of the individual who is addicted to it. Tobacco smoking itself endangers one’s health, liable for causing heart problems. Sometimes people who smoke take chewing gum, or mint sweets to clear of the bad smell but that’s not a good remedy. If you happen to develop bad breath through tobacco smoking, then It can be prevented by desisting entirely from the act.


Alcohol is another thing that can cause bad breath. Taking too much alcohol is exposing one’s health to cancer of the throat and mouth. Each time you finish taking this substance your mouth not only smells but your entire body too.

It can easily be prevented, and that is as soon as you stop too much intake of alcohol.

Garlic and onion

These two vegetables can as well produce bad breath when consumed in much quantity. The two species are indeed nutrients that help in keeping the body healthy. Especially the garlic which is found to fight germs in every human body, but as the saying goes, “too much of everything is bad”. Eating too much garlic and onion can produce bad breath from your mouth.

There was a time I was under the impression that since eating garlic can actually fight germs, they let me eat much of it. So, each meal I prepare I resort to including so much garlic. Not knowing it also has a side effect. Until one day, I visited the hospital for a diagnosis. Immediately the nurse on duty injected me with a blood sample, she exclaimed, “ma’am, do you take garlic? I replied, “yes”. Then she said, “it’s too much in you”.  So, taking much of it can cause bad breath.                                                                                  

It can be natural

Bad breath is not a general disease. Everybody is expected to brush twice within every 24 hours of the day. But because out of the 24 hours people get busy for 15 hours, you hardly see many people keeping to that rules.

They can just brush once within 24 hours, and still have good breath, simply because they don’t have it naturally. it’s not in them. In the same vain you see an individual who not only brushes twice but adds an extra one making it 3 times within 24 hours. Adding other precautions like rinsing the mouth after eating, but they still breaths badly. So, it can be natural.


Regularly rinse and brush your teeth.

Make it a habit to clean your teeth at least three times within 24 hours of each day. You can afford to take your toothbrush to your office or take a break to your home. Even after eating rinse your mouth properly with water to allow food particles to flush out.  Also, make use of toothpicks even after flushing to search for particles the water was unable to flush out.

Brush Properly

Whenever you brush make sure you properly brush your tongue. This is how you can perform this practice. First, brush with the toothpaste then rinse with water. Next brush using only water. You can also apply a mouth wash when finally rinsing your teeth after brushing.

Visit your dentist

Make a regular appointment with your dentist especially if your case is natural. Natural in the sense that you have done everything to stop the bad breath but it persists. They might be having some systematic issues like sinus infections and throat problems. Again, you might be having a toothache. So, this case can’t be treated naturally or personally.

Keep your mouth busy at all times

Sometimes the inadequate flow of fresh air into the mouth can cause bad breath. You can only notice this if you happen to stay for a long time without talking to anybody. Or not even talking by way of singing or talking to yourself. So, it’s the best advice to always talk to people at intervals, sing, or you can chew some gums. You can also choose to get some parks of biscuits by your side. This is just to get your mouth busy and not stack dry.


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