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Common Dental Issues & Solutions

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath?

Bad breath is more than just an embarrassing health condition. It can also impact your social life and emotional well-being, leading to anxiety, lower self-esteem, and even depression. But there’s good news – finding the root cause is the best way to get rid of bad breath and bring your confidence back.

Don’t let bad breath control your life. Get the professional help you need! Book an appointment now and let us help you learn how to get rid of bad breath permanently.

What Causes Bad Breath?

What Causes Bad Breath?Things and Conditions that Causes Bad BreathBad breath, also known as halitosis, is most often brought on by bacteria in the mouth that metabolise proteins and release pungent volatile sulphur compounds (VSC). While this is the main cause of bad breath, other potential causes include:

  • Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing and flossing regularly allows bacteria to break down food particles, releasing stinky sulphur compounds. Cavities, gum disease, and a build-up of plaque also contribute to bad breath.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva is your mouth’s natural cleaner. When it’s in short supply, bacteria thrive, leading to bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, medical conditions, or even sleeping with your mouth open.
  • Food choices: Onions, garlic, and spices can cause temporary bad breath. Their strong odours linger, especially if you don’t brush and floss soon after eating.
  • Tobacco use: Smoking and chewing tobacco create a dry mouth, the perfect home for odour-causing bacteria. They also leave their own unpleasant smell.
  • Infections: Respiratory infections, as well as issues in your nose or throat, can create foul-smelling mucus and contribute to bad breath.
  • Medical conditions: Diabetes, liver or kidney disease, acid reflux, and other conditions can all play a role in bad breath.
  • Tonsil stones: These hardened bits of food and bacteria trapped in the tonsils cause a persistent smell.
  • Gum disease: Inflammation, infection, and often unpleasant odours are associated with gum disease.
  • Crash diets: Low-carb diets can produce ketones, which have a distinct, strange smell on the breath.

What Are the Symptoms of Halitosis?

Bad breath isn’t always obvious, but here are some signs to watch for:

  • White-coated tongue: A build-up on the tongue, especially the back, can be home to odour-causing bacteria.
  • Dry mouth: Lack of saliva makes it harder to wash away food debris and bacteria.
  • Plaque and debris: Visible build-up around teeth means that proper oral hygiene may be lacking.
  • Post-nasal drip: Mucus from allergies or infections can carry unpleasant odours to the mouth.
  • Morning breath and burning tongue: While some morning breath is normal, persistent odours or burning sensations may signal a problem.
  • Thick saliva and throat clearing: These may mean there’s an issue affecting your saliva production or drainage.
  • Metallic or sour taste: A constant bad taste in your mouth can indicate issues beyond just bad oral hygiene.

Do you have bad breath symptoms and can’t get rid of them? Visit our dental clinic for a thorough check-up and personalised advice on fixing the issue.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath?Things you can do to avoid bad breath - InfographicThe first step to knowing how to get rid of halitosis breath is the ability to treat it when it happens. Then, addressing the underlying cause is necessary to prevent it from happening again. Here’s what we recommend:

Improve Your Oral Hygiene

Improving oral hygiene requires effort, but it’s not difficult. Here’s how to do it:

Brushing and Flossing

Brush your teeth thoroughly for 2 to 3 minutes, at least twice a day, paying special attention to the gum line. Make sure you brush after meals and before bed. Floss at least once a day to remove food particles and bacteria from between teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach.

Tongue Cleaning

Gently brush the surface of your tongue daily or use a tongue scraper to remove build-up. This is an important step, as a lot of odour-causing bacteria can hide out on the tongue.


Use an antibacterial mouthwash as well as brushing and flossing to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Choose a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol, which can dry out your mouth.

Dental Appliances

If you wear dentures, retainers, or other dental appliances, clean them daily as directed by your dentist. Bacteria can thrive on these surfaces, so proper cleaning is crucial for fresh breath.

Bad Breath Home Remedies

Try these easy natural remedies for halitosis – you’ll likely have these ingredients at home.

  • Saltwater rinse: Gargle with warm saltwater several times a day. Salt acts as a natural antiseptic, which will help to reduce bacteria in your mouth.
  • Baking soda: Create a paste of baking soda and water, and gently brush it onto your teeth and tongue. Baking soda is an alkaline substance that helps neutralise acids and combat odours.

Tired of bad breath ruining your social interactions and keeping you anxious? Get in touch and let our dentists help you fix the problem for good.

Optimise Your Diet

Yes, you need to change your diet if you’re focusing on how to get rid of bad breath! Eat healthy food that nourishes your body, because remember … Bad breath can come from within.

Foods to Include

  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables: Apples, carrots, celery, and others naturally scrub your teeth and boost saliva production, which washes away bacteria.
  • Fresh herbs: Chewing on parsley, mint, or basil after meals has a temporary breath-freshening effect.
  • Spices: Cloves, cinnamon, and fennel seeds have natural antibacterial properties and their pleasant scent can mask odours.
  • Unsweetened tea: Green or black tea have polyphenols that may help reduce bacteria and sulphur compounds in the mouth.
  • Plain yoghurt: The live cultures in yoghurt may introduce good bacteria to your mouth, which can help to overpower the odour-causing ones.

Foods to Avoid

  • Strong-smelling foods: Onions, garlic, and some spices have lingering odours. Minimise these, especially before social situations.
  • Sugary foods and drinks: Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, contributing to bad breath. Limit your intake.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is crucial for overall health and can help keep bad breath at bay. Here’s how:

  • Saliva production: Water is essential for your body to produce saliva, which naturally cleanses your mouth and washes away food particles and bacteria.
  • Dry mouth prevention: Dehydration leads to dry mouth, a major contributor to bad breath. Staying hydrated keeps your mouth moist and less open to odour-causing bacteria.
  • Odour dilution: Drinking water can temporarily dilute the concentration of odour-causing compounds in your mouth.


  • Carry a water bottle: Keep reusable water bottles handy to stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Sugar-free gum or mints: These can stimulate saliva production when you can’t immediately brush after a meal. Choose options without sugar to avoid feeding bad bacteria.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol: These beverages have a dehydrating effect, which can worsen dry mouth.

Address Health Concerns

While many cases of bad breath can be managed at home, sometimes it signals an underlying health issue. Here’s how health concerns can play a role:

Medical Conditions

  • Diabetes can cause a fruity, acetone-like smell on the breath due to ketone production.
  • Liver or kidney disease and other issues with these organs can lead to toxins being released on the breath, causing a distinct odour.
  • Respiratory infections such as postnasal drip from sinus infections, bronchitis, or pneumonia can all carry unpleasant smells.
  • Acid reflux (GERD) brings stomach acids up into the throat and mouth, contributing to bad breath.


Be aware that many medications can reduce saliva flow, which might worsen bad breath. Consulting with a healthcare provider about alternative medications may be necessary.

Smoking and Tobacco

Quitting smoking and avoiding tobacco products not only improves overall health, but also significantly reduces oral odours. Bad breath treatment should always include avoiding tobacco products.

When to Get Professional Help for Bad Breath

When to Get Professional Help for Bad Breath?

If your bad breath sticks around even after trying the remedies above, see your dentist. Regular dental visits are crucial for maintaining oral health. But, you’ll need immediate attention if your bad breath is accompanied by signs of infection or if it persists despite good oral hygiene.

A medical consultation may be necessary if your bad breath could be linked to a medical condition. Here’s when to seek help:

See a Dentist or Doctor If:

  • Bad breath persists despite good brushing and flossing habits
  • Pain, swelling, or bleeding is present in your mouth
  • Loose teeth or toothaches occur
  • Bad breath began after getting dentures, implants, or other dental work
  • Dry mouth persists even after drinking plenty of water
  • You suspect bad breath might be due to a medical condition
  • Home remedies don’t improve the problem.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath FAQs

How does bad breath affect mental health and social life?

Bad breath can cause social anxiety, withdrawal or self-isolation, self-consciousness and low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, and even depression in some cases.

How to cure bad breath fast?

There’s no quick fix to getting rid of bad breath, although gum and breath mints can stop bad breath for a short period of time. You’ll need to look into the cause behind your bad breath.

How to cure bad breath permanently?

There’s only one way to cure bad breath permanently – address any underlying issues. Consult with your dentist or doctor, and they can develop a treatment plan to provide a lasting solution.

Book an appointment with us to take your first steps towards being odour-free!

Dr. Kent Tan - Author Bio

Dr. Kent Tan is an elite dentist based in Perth, with an impressive educational background including a degree from the University of Queensland and a Diploma in Implant Dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. His expertise, particularly in dental implants, is honed through extensive training, including a Master Clinician Programme in Los Angeles. Renowned for his exceptional skills and compassionate care, Dr. Tan performs up to 1000 dental implants annually, reflecting his commitment to excellence in oral health.


Book Your Free Consultation

Fill in the form below to book your complementary consultation. Alternatively you can call our Dental Implants treatment team on (08) 9361 5544.

Book Your Free Consultation

Fill in the form below to book your complementary consultation. Alternatively you can call our Dental Implants treatment team on (08) 9361 5544.

Book Your Free Consultation

Fill in the form below to book your complementary consultation. Alternatively you can call our Dental Implants treatment team on (08) 9361 5544.

Book Your Free Consultation

Fill in the form below to book your complementary consultation. Alternatively you can call our Dental Implants treatment team on (08) 9361 5544.

Book Your Free Consultation

Fill in the form below to book your complementary consultation. Alternatively you can call our Dental Implants treatment team on (08) 9361 5544.

Book Your Free Consultation

Fill in the form below to book your complementary consultation. Alternatively you can call our Cosmetic Dental treatment team on (08) 9361 5544.