One of the main problems oral patients suffer from is oral malodor (bad breath).

What are the causes?

Oral malodor/bad breath is caused by a gas known as volatile sulphur which is actually the waste material released by dead bacteria in the mouth. Bad breath is mainly caused by in-mouth factors. An oral infection, an intense gum disease or the bacteria bedded on the food remnants in the mouth may result in foul breath. Other systemic problems which lead to oral malodor are; tonsillitis, lung failure, sinusitis, diabetes, stomach and intestine failures, kidney failure (fish odor syndrome), liver disease etc.



The first step of the treatment is to diagnose the cause of the malodor/bad breath, after which the treatment may be conducted accordingly.

What should be done for in-mouth originated problems:

  • All the cavities and tooth decay must be treated and eliminated
  • Gum disease must be treated. All the dental pockets and plaque must be eliminated
  • Wisdom teeth which suffer from impaction must be removed


The most common location for mouth-related malodor/bad breath is the tongue. Tongue bacteria produce malodorous compounds and fatty acids, and account for 80 to 90 percent of all cases of mouth-related bad breath. Large quantities of naturally-occurring bacteria are often found on the back surface of the tongue, where they are relatively undisturbed by normal activity. This part of the tongue is relatively dry and poorly cleansed, and bacterial populations can thrive on remnants of food deposits. Brushing your tongue –especially the back of your tongue—along with your teeth is essential for preventing bad breath. If you feel uncomfortable while brushing your tongue you can also scrape the surface of the tongue by using a clean plastic spoon. For a comfortable and proper cleansing you may also use tongue brushes or tongue scrapers which are easily found in any drugstore.Keep in mind that mints, oral sprays or mouthwash products do not prevent bad breath. They only repress the odor for a limited amount of time (approximately 5-7 minutes).In preventing bad breath a mouthwash product which you can prepare yourself by mixing 50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxide will prove to be helpful.If the odor is food-originated (garlic, onions, alcohol etc.) a glass of cold milk in the morning of the following day will reduce the odor remarkably.