How does my breath smell?

Where does smelly breath—sometimes called halitosis—come from? It comes from bacteria in the mouth, and what it smells like can depend on external factors like food or internal factors like sickness.

Food is the biggest culprit when it comes to halitosis. We know that if we have a big lunch of garlic and onions, it’d be polite to avoid talking too closely with someone until we could brush our teeth or have a generous handful of Tic Tacs.

Another popular factor is poor dental hygiene. Since it can be hard to tell if our own breath stinks, take good care of your mouth to ensure your breath isn’t offensive. The easiest way to combat bad breath is to brush your teeth twice daily, use mouthwash, floss and keep regular dental cleanings with your dentist.

In more serious cases, bad breath can actually be a symptom of a more serious problem, like infections, dry mouth, diabetes or even illnesses of the lungs or liver.

Dentists can be like detectives in these cases. Sometimes they could even suggest what’s wrong based on what your breath smells like!