Your friend’s breath stinks — here’s why

Your friend’s breath stinks — here’s why

Authored by Minahil Syed


The medical term for bad breath is halitosis and has likely affected everyone at one point or another! For instance, do you recall ever standing across from a friend telling a detailed story and being thrown off because the odor ruminating from their mouth was so bad?


Fortunately, you can manage to control bad breath! Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day can remove plaque and any food stuck between your teeth. Nonetheless, the question arises, what is the cause of bad odor?


The Significance of Dental Hygiene and Managing Your Bacteria

Poor dental hygiene is one of the principal reasons for poor oral health and can be indicative of or precedent to more serious bodily issues. Over 6 billion bacteria live in your mouth, that’s approximately the entire population of the earth!


And while you can’t necessarily ‘see’ them, a white tongue or food trapped between your teeth should be a definite sign that you aren’t investing into your oral health nor maintaining the necessary practices to keep your teeth clean and free of bad bacteria. Within the oral microbiome (all the bacteria that live within your mouth), there are both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria.


Good bacteria help maintain strong oral health by breaking down food (thereby aiding in digestion) and protecting from harmful germs! Promoting the growth of good bacteria protects not only your mouth from bad odor but also your overall health (i.e. the avoidance of periodontal diseases). It isn’t only poor oral hygiene that causes bad breath, an unhealthy diet can also lead to a bacterial shift.

Managing Bad Bacteria

Plaque, also known as ‘biofilm’ is a lining that forms across the teeth. It comes about due to a buildup of food, fluid, saliva, and bacteria. The simple trick to battling plaque accumulation is following a daily routine. This would involve brushing 2 times a day (for a minimum of two minutes each time) with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride-based toothpaste plus flossing regularly.


Flossing ensures that plaque and food particles are removed from the crevices and gaps between the teeth — in areas that a standard toothbrush cannot reach. Brushing and flossing regularly should be enough to ensure that the mouth is kept clean, however, if plaque remains on the teeth for too long without being targeted, it can develop into tartar.


Tartar is a hardened substance that results from plaque combined with minerals within saliva. Whereby plaque can be removed by simply brushing, tartar actually needs to be removed by a dentist, due to how strongly it attaches to tooth enamel!

And that’s that!

Coming in for regular checkups and cleanings from your dental professional is a sure-fire way to do away with any residue, whether it be plaque or tartar! However, good oral health starts at home. Remember to brush twice a day and floss regularly.


Authored by Minahil Syed


  1. The Healthline Editorial Team. “Bad Breath (Halitosis).” Edited by Jennifer Archibald. healthline. Accessed July 3, 2022.
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Oral Health: A Window to Your Overall Health.” Mayo Clinic, October 28, 2021.
  3. “Is There Good Bacteria In Your Mouth?” Colgate. Accessed July 3, 2022.
  4. “Is There Good Bacteria In Your Mouth?” Colgate.
  5. Segrest, Susan. “4 Fascinating Things Scientists Know About the Billions of Bacteria in Your Mouth.” Johnson&Johnson, October 7, 2018.
  6. “WHAT IS PLAQUE?” Crest + OralB. Accessed July 3, 2022.
  7. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Oral Health: A Window to Your Overall Health.” Mayo Clinic, October 28, 2021.
  8. “A Teeth Cleaning Can Combat Bad Breath and Plaque Build Up.” Pleasanton Valley Dental. Accessed July 3, 2022.
  9. “THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLAQUE & TARTAR.” Springs Village Dentistry, December 29, 2018.
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