welcome to disease section for bad breath 

Image of decaying teeth
Image of decaying teeth

If you suffer from bad breath, the cause is likely the condition of your mouth. Several dental conditions such as tooth decay and cavities may be responsible for your bad breath. Tooth decay leads to buildup of dental plaque in the cavity. The tooth decay may spread to the pulp region and cause the pulp to die and emit foul odour which converts into halitosis. Bad breath (halitosis) is caused by bacteria that do not require oxygen for growth. In case of tooth decay, the bacteria can settle in cavities and cause bad breath.

An illustration of a man with halitosis for candida albicans on tongue
An illustration of a man with halitosis for candida albicans on

Oral thrush or oral pseudomembranous candidiasis is a fungal infection of the mouth caused by candida albicans especially in denture wearers, infants and people with weakened immune systems. People with halitosis often suffer with candida infection. Oral thrush is visible as slightly raised removable plaques which appear as whitish layer of cottage cheese on the tongue or inner cheek. It can also affect the roof of the mouth, gums, tonsils or back of the throat.

Bad breath and gum disease
Bad breath and gum disease

Continued bad breath in your mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused when there is a buildup of plaque on the teeth. The bacteria present in the mouth cause the formation of toxins which lead to irritation in gums. Gum disease is a known cause of bad breath as the gums pull away from the teeth and leave behind pockets in which bacteria settles and replicates, which also causes halitosis (bad breath).

What is bad breath?
What is bad breath?

Bad breath, known as halitosis medically, is a result of poor dental health. Bad breath is a sign of health problems such as gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease and other unhealthy lifestyle habits. Unhealthy dental habits promote bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue which causes bad breath. Halitosis is the third most common dental problem, after tooth decay and gum disease as one in every four individual suffer from bad breath. Mouth rinses, mouth fresheners, toothpaste, etc are used to reduce foul smell and kill mouth bacteria.

Halitosis (bad breath) causes
Halitosis (bad breath) causes

The main cause of halitosis is poor oral hygiene. Bacterial layer builds up as plaque which is colorless, sticky film and causes bad breath. Consumption of tobacco and certain foods, such as onions, garlic and spices can also cause bad breath. Several health problems such as gastric issues, throat or nose infections, H. pylori infection in stomach and intestines, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), diabetes, etc can also be responsible for your bad breath. Consumption of alcohol also causes bad breath. Dry mouth or xerostomia also adds to bad breath due to low production of saliva.

Common dental problems
Common dental problems

Common tooth disease: Sensitive teeth, caries, calculus, gingivitis, periodontitis and bad breath. Bad breath is a common problem which arises due to oral bacterial infection. Sometimes, acid reflux, consumption of odorous (such as garlic or onion) food, consumption of alcohol or tobacco , nasal or throat problems, etc can also lead to bad breathe. Oral hygiene is the only way to keep away from all dental problems.

Human tooth decay anatomy diagram
Human tooth decay anatomy diagram

The image shows anatomy of human tooth decay and tooth loss. Tooth decay is the breakdown of teeth due to acids made by bacteria and is one primary reason of bad breath.  Other causes for bad breath are cavities, gum disease, failed dental work, dry mouth (or low salivary flow rate), oral cancer, etc. Bad breath is medically called halitosis and can result from poor or unhygienic dental health habits and bacterial infections of the mouth.