Most people are unaware of the fact that they have bad breath, or “halitosis” as dental professionals refer to it.
Certain foods, health conditions and habits are among the causes of bad breath. In many cases, you can improve bad breath with proper dental hygiene.
If simple self-care techniques do not solve the problem, you may want to see your dentist or doctor to rule out a more serious condition that may be causing your bad breath.
Causes of bad breath
Bad breath can be caused by external and internal factors. External factors can be the types of food that we eat, such as those spicy or odorous in nature. If you think your bad breath is related to the foods you are consuming, consider recording the food you are eating to determine if this is the reason. People who use tobacco and alcohol can also experience bad breath.
The tongue provides a place for bacteria to attach and grow. Most odour-causing bacteria produce compounds called volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs), which cause bad breath. The primary VSCs that cause bad breath are hydrogen sulphide and methyl mercaptan. Most of these odour-causing bacteria reside in the posterior area of the tongue.
Other causes of bad breath can include the following:
- Dental issues – Poor oral hygiene, gingivitis and periodontal disease
- Dentures – Plaque and food can develop on dentures
- Dry mouth – Lack of saliva flow
- Mouth, nose and throat issues – Sinus or throat infections and cryptic tonsillitis
- Patients who are dieting on a regular basis.
Please see your dental professional for a dental appointment to determine why you are experiencing bad breath and continue to properly clean your mouth with antibacterial fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and clean your tongue with a tongue brush or scraper.