Severe bad breath (also known as halitosis) is one of the most embarrassing and stubborn dental problems. This terrible condition can lead to low self-esteem and unhealthy isolation.

For school-going children, it could also result in bullying as well as poor communication skills. The good news is there is something you can do about it! Depending on its cause, halitosis can be easily eliminated by carrying out lifestyle changes and following prescribed treatment plans.

In order to get rid of this stubborn issue, the first step is to discover the cause of your problem and then develop effective strategies on how to combat the problem. Below are some of the leading causes of halitosis.

1. Food, drinks and eating habits

Eating highly seasoned food can result in bad breath. Some of the most common culprits include onions, garlic, and spices. Certain drinks such as alcohol and strong coffee can also result in halitosis.

When taking consistently flavored drinks and food, it is advisable for you to observe good dental hygiene practices such as flossing your teeth in order to get rid of food remains which root in your mouth to cause bad breath. Avoiding such foods altogether can also significantly reduce halitosis.

2. Poor dental hygiene

This is the leading cause of bad breath. Neglecting oral hygiene results in halitosis due to the accumulation of unwanted bacteria. In order to get rid of the foul smell, it is essential for you to brush your teeth at least twice a day and if possible, after every meal.

Flossing also helps in preventing bad breath by removing food particles which may be trapped in between your teeth. These food remains can easily rot and result in bad breath.

Tongue cleaning is one of the most overlooked aspects of oral hygiene. Bacteria are known to stay in the creases of your tongue because it is very important for you to properly clean your tongue so as to remove any temporary food particles.

3. Smoking

Smoking is well-known for causing respiratory problems; however it is also proven to result in bad breath. Regular smoking makes your breath smell ashy and it can also lead to staining of teeth and gum irritation. If you suffer from halitosis, quitting smoking will significantly reduce your symptoms.

4. Certain drugs and medical conditions

Some medications such as tranquilizers are known to cause halitosis due to their chemical composition. Medicines containing nitrates should also be avoided. You could consult with your doctor in order to find suitable alternative medication which does not aggravate halitosis.

Some medical conditions can lead to bad breath especially gastrointestinal disorders. Dental infections could also bring about halitosis. Be sure to seek medical attention in order to resolve any medical conditions that could be causing your bad breath.