Bad breath starts mostly from the mouth. Sometimes it can start from the nose also. It is a common problem and even healthy people can have bad breadth occasionally. The possible causes of bad breath (halitosis) are described below:
Poor dental hygiene is one of the most common causes of halitosis. Mouth is always wet and therefore a very good breeding platform for bacteria.
If teeth are not brushed, flossed and rinsed properly, following conditions may occur:
In order to prevent halitosis and above conditions, one should maintain a good dental hygiene.
Food is the primary source of bad odors. Different foods are responsible for different types of odors. Foods and their effects are given below:
These types of foods contain smelly sulfur compounds. Sulfur has a rotten egg smell. Therefore, after having such foods, the breath smells like a rotten egg.
These types of foods contain dense proteins. Dense proteins are food sources for anaerobic bacteria responsible for the bad breath.
Refined sugar also provides a food source for the sulfur-producing bacteria.
Coffee and juices are acidic in nature. An acidic environment is the best breeding ground for almost all the bacteria responsible for bad odors.
Smoking and chewing tobacco are other causes of bad breath as they leave chemicals in the mouth.
Tobacco dries the mouth and makes the breath even worse. It also increases the chance of gum disease which is again the main cause of bad breath. Continuous smoking stains the teeth, irritates the gums and reduces the sense of taste.
Stopping smoking lowers the risk of gum related disease and also helps in reducing the bad breath.
Xerostomia is a medical term for dry mouth. Saliva naturally cleanses the mouth by removing particles from the mouth that cause bad odors.
Dry mouth contributes to bad breath because the mouth is not naturally cleaned due to lack of saliva. Dry mouth is caused by:
Dry mouth provides a perfect environment for the reproduction of anaerobic bacteria. Minor food odors can lead to long-term issues for people suffering from dry mouth condition.
Bad breath may develop if a person is having any of the following respiratory infections:
Yeast infections of the mouth, cavities and gum diseases cause bad breath. All these conditions of the mouth provide a breeding platform for the bacteria and yeast. Overgrowth of these micro-organisms causes bad breath.
It is estimated that 10 percent of halitosis cases are caused by other diseases and illness. Such diseases and illness are:
Certain medications have a side effect of reducing saliva in the mouth. This contributes to dry mouth, which in turn is the cause of bad odors. Some medications break down and release chemicals which contribute to bad breath.
Break down of ketones (fats producing chemicals) takes place during fasting and low carbohydrate eating process. Ketones have a strong odor. When they break down, a strong odor is released.
In addition to the above discussed causes of bad breath, there are some other rare causes. They are:
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