Bad breath (halitosis) can be humiliating and socially awkward. This is a rather common condition; it happens to everyone at certain times of the day. However, it can be truly embarrassing especially when people around us notice.
Halitosis or bad breath originates from 2 very distinctive issues, one of which is chronic halitosis and the other being “morning breath”, which is the transient type. The causative factor of both types is the same, i.e. sulphur. These sulfurous gasses are produced via bacterial build up in the mouth, in particular, the tongue.
To fight it and stop it we need to reduce the bacteria load by looking at a few things:
- Oral hygiene – good oral hygiene, gum treatment and regular attendance to the dentist will eliminate this issue.
- Gum disease is a main culprit of this problem.
Bronchitis or inflammation of the airways is known to trigger bad breath. The most common cause is a viral or bacterial infection, but could be also due to irritants such as air pollution, tobacco smoke, or certain chemicals. Another case is when there is tonsil stones. It can cause itching and aching and will produce an odor like something is rotting. This is largely due to bacteria that is harbored at that site.
- During sleep at night, our body’s production of saliva decreases substantially, when there is less saliva, the number of bacteria increases dramatically. Saliva’s main role is washing out bacteria from the oral cavity, and inhibiting bacterial growth. The main reason for a spike in bacteria is a reduction of saliva which is linked closely to water intake, hence it is important to keep the mouth hydrated.
- Systemic diseases such as fetor hepaticas: a rare type of bad breath caused by chronic liver failure.
- Trimethylamine (“fish odor syndrome”) could be linked to a systemic disease. However, it is worth noting that patients afflicted by the said conditions will show more diagnostically conclusive symptoms than mere bad breath.
- Also, acid reflux, or the regurgitation of stomach contents can cause a bitter or sour taste in your mouth as well.
- Last but not least, in some cases, gastrointestinal conditions can also cause bad breath, for example bacterial infection of the stomach lining can cause someone to develop symptoms of bad breath.