Dental & Oral Health

Bad breath - Why your mouth stinks and how to cure it?

Written by Dr. Tooba Qazi and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


"EwWw. . . Your Mouth Stinks!" *embarrassed* - Yes! These words can stab deeply into one's heart like a sharp knife. Want to avoid this situation? You must need to know how, when, why your mouth stinks and how this problem can be prevented?!Bad breath/ Mouth stinking - medically termed as 'Halitosis' may occur as a result of some local factors of mouth or due to extraoral or systemic factors.

Local factors of mouth are listed as follows :

  • Food retention
  • Periodontal/Gingival infections (Gum diseases)
  • Caries (Dental cavity)
  • Acute Necrotizing Gingivitis
  • Mucosal Infections

Extraoral/Systemic factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol ingestion
  • Pulmonary or Bronchial disease
  • Metabolic defects (in acidity and stomach ulcer problems)
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Sinusitis
  • Tonsillitis

Due to poor oral hygiene or systemic effects or by their synergistic effects, anaerobic bacterial colonization increases around both affected and infected areas of mouth. Moreover, proceeded by release of volatile sulfur compounds causing halitosis.

Treatment options for this very common problem of bad breath are quite simple :

  1. Identify the cause and remove it. If any local cause is the culprit get scaling/cleaning of teeth done and get infections treated. Likewise, if you have any systemic problem try to get it controlled and then follow the below instructions.
  2. Start using Chlorhexidine Gluconate or Antibacterial Mouthwash for 2-4 weeks.
  3. Start Saline water mouth rinses 3 to 4 times a day for 10 days. (Take a small cup of lukewarm water and add 1/4th teaspoon of salt in it). This simple remedy is so far recommended best for maintenance of healthy oral hygiene.
  4. Avoid taking stink foods like onions, garlic etc

By obeying these instructions you can get rid of stink breath problem for good and will be saved from embarrassing moments forever.

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018



Do you have a question on Bad Breath or Halitosis?
* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Related Questions & Answers

How can bad breath be stopped and prevented?
Query: Hello doctor, I am facing a problem with bad smell from mouth. I have faced this problem six to eight months before after my accident and I took heavy-dose antibiotics. I have shown to a dentist and I have cleared all my tooth problems. After that also, I am facing this bad smell. I am taking Omepr...  Read Full »
Dr. Anshul Varshney
Internal Medicine Physician

Answer: Hello, Welcome to You seem to be suffering from halitosis and this requires a proper dental evaluation. If that is cleared then you might be having a gastroesophageal reflux disease. You need to be started on a combination of Rabeprazole and Domperidone once daily. Do Listerine gargl...  Read Full »
Can halitosis be caused due to gastritis?
Query: Hello doctor, I want to ask about halitosis. I already went to the dentist and the dentist said that the problem is not in the mouth and it could be in my stomach so here I am. I hope you can help me because I am at my wit's end right now. How do I know if it is in the stomach? What should I do? I ...  Read Full »
Dr. Lohit Chauhan
General Medicine Physician

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Halitosis or bad breath usually originates from oral or nasal passages. The cause of it is bacterial decay of residual food and debris. Most common causes of halitosis are periodontal diseases, dental caries, oral cavity infection, and coated or uncleaned tongue or decr...  Read Full »
Indiscriminate Use of Mouthwash Alone is not the Solution for Halitosis
Article Overview: Most of the time people never care about the underlying cause of bad breath, they just use mouthwash and think "all is well". This article stresses on the fact that mouthwash alone is not a solution for bad breath.  Read Article »
Dr. Naveen Thomas

Whenever we experience bad smell or breath emanating from our mouth, the next thing we do is go and buy a mouthwash to get rid of it. This goes on for 1 or 2 months, and then we give up to the fate or finally decide for some expert opinion. We need to give bad breath more importance in our daily li ...  Read Article »
What makes my teeth yellow with bad breath even after brushing twice daily?
Query: Hello doctor, My teeth always get yellow in color, after brushing for two times a day. Also, my mouth stinks.  Read Full »
Dr. Tooba Qazi

Answer: Hi, Welcome to There could be following reasons for yellowing of teeth. There could be yellow or brown layers of tartar at gumline that needs to be taken out so that your actual enamel can be seen. For it, you need to get your scaling done from the dentist and then do brushing twice a ...  Read Full »
How to Prevent Bad Breath or Halitosis?
Article Overview: This article discusses the causes and management of bad breath which is also called halitosis.  Read Article »
Dr. Osman Adam

Halitosis or a foul odor that comes from the mouth is not a medical emergency, but at least 25 to 30 percent of the world's population complains about this problem. Types: Halitosis can be described in two classes: Bad breath in the morning, which is a normal physiological change. However, it c ...  Read Article »

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Related Tags