Bad breath (sometimes called halitosis) is very common. You can usually treat it yourself.
How to treat bad breath yourself
The best way of making sure you do not have bad breath is to keep your teeth, tongue and mouth clean.
gently brush your teeth and gums at least twice a day for 2 minutes use a fluoride toothpastegently clean your tongue once a day using a tongue scraper or cleaner clean between your teeth with interdental brushes or floss at least once a day get regular dental check-upskeep dentures clean and remove them at night use sugar-free mints or chewing gum after having strong-smelling food and drinkstry using an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste
do not smokedo not rinse your mouth with water straight after brushing your teeth do not have lots of sugary foods and drinks do not brush so hard your gums or tongue bleed
Causes of bad breath
Causes of bad breath may include:
- eating or drinking strong-smelling or spicy foods and drinks
- problems with your teeth or gums, such as gum disease, holes in your teeth or an infection
- crash dieting
- some medical conditions, like tonsillitis or acid reflux
See a dentist if you have:
- bad breath that does not go away after treating it yourself for a few weeks
- painful, bleeding or swollen gums
- toothache or wobbly adult teeth
- problems with your dentures