Bad breath, also called halitosis, is a common problem that can cause significant psychological distress. Store shelves are full of gum, mints, mouthwashes and other products designed to fight bad breath. But many of these products are only temporary. Certain foods, health conditions and habits are among the causes of bad breath. In many cases, you can improve bad breath with consistent proper dental hygiene. If simple self-care techniques do not solve the problem, see your dentist or physician to be sure a more serious condition is not causing your bad breath.