Bad breath Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

Bad breath
The bad breath problem is quite common and influences on 80-90% of the adult population, but only in 25% of cases bad breath is persistent and is caused by a chronic pathological process in the human body. Bad breath is usually a result of digestive system diseases (stomach, liver, intestines, teeth and oral cavity). In most cases, it is caused by the accumulation of a large number of anaerobic bacteria in the mouth – on the tongue, around and between the teeth.

This is also known as “halitosis”, “ozostomia”, “stomatodysodia”. Mouth odour is not an unsolvable problem. The methods of treatment are usually very simple and effective – you only need to correctly identify the main cause of bad breath.

Do you have a bad breath?

Of course, under certain circumstances, each of us may have an unpleasant breath, – moreover, we will often be able to find out about this only by the reaction of the people around us. Determining whether you have bad breath is often difficult, primarily because of the fact that the oral cavity, the source of all these odours, is connected to the nose through an opening located in the back of the oral cavity in the area of the soft palate. Since the nose “filters” the odours that occur in the back of the oral cavity, it also filters out this very unpleasant odour. Thus, you may have this bad breath – but you don’t realise it yourself.

If even our own noses cannot help us determine with confidence how our breath smells, can we still find out about it? One way is to get an opinion from your immediate family. You can also make the same request to a close friend, or to your dentist at the next visit to him. If this question seems too personal to you and you are afraid to “entrust” it to adults, do not be embarrassed and ask your children about it. As we well know, it is with their lips that truth often speaks.

Is it possible to independently determine how your breath smells?

Such methods are also known. For example, lick your wrist, let the saliva dry for about five seconds, and then sniff this area. Well how? You smell something like that. Or, to be precise, the front of your tongue smells like that.

Now try to figure out how the back of your tongue smells. Take a spoon, flip it over, and scrape with it the farthest part of the tongue. (Do not be surprised if at the same time you begin to choke). Look at the substance left on the spoon that you scraped off the tongue – usually it is thick and whitish. Now smell it. It is this smell of your breath (unlike the smell of the front of the tongue) that people most likely feel.

The main cause of bad breath

Now you know that in most cases the source of bad breath is a white substance covering the back of the tongue. Or, to be more precise, the bacteria that live in this white substance.

There is another also very common cause of bad breath – bacteria that accumulate in other areas of the mouth.

What conditions or circumstances can cause or intensify bad breath? Many of these factors are somehow related to:

– Bacteria of the oral cavity.
– Conditions that stimulate the growth of these bacteria.
– Poor cleaning of areas where bacteria accumulate.

Can food cause bad breath?

Some foods have a long history of bad breath cause, such as onions or garlic. When digesting food products, their constituent molecules are absorbed by our body and then removed from it by the flow of blood.

Some of these molecules, which have very specific and unpleasant odours, enter our lungs along with the flow of blood. They are removed from the lungs with exhalation – hence, the unpleasant smell appears. Although an unpleasant odour of this kind is a rather annoying problem, we will not discuss it in detail on these pages. The bad breath caused by the consumption of certain foods usually disappears by itself in a day or two – as soon as the body removes all the “foul-smelling” molecules. Moreover, to get rid of such a smell is quite simple – you just need to exclude such products from your diet or minimize their use.

Does smoking contribute to bad breath?

You definitely had to meet with heavily smoked people whose breathing has a specific smell. Although the formation of an unpleasant odour associated with smoking is caused by many factors, the main ones are nicotine, resin and other foul-smelling substances contained in tobacco smoke. These substances are accumulated on teeth and soft tissues of the smoker’s mouth – gums, buccal tissue, tongue. Once again we have to mention – an unpleasant odour of this type will also not be discussed in detail on these pages. The only way to completely get rid of this smell is to quit smoking (although if you perfect your mouth hygiene, this smell can be slightly weakened). We also notice that smoking itself dehydrates the tissues of the mouth. This weakens the moisturizing and disinfecting effect of saliva, which washes bacteria and their waste products. Dry mouth is discussed in more detail below. It is known that smokers often have problems associated with periodontal disease (“gum disease”).

Periodontal disease also occurs due to the activity of bacteria. Gum disease and its association with unpleasant odours are discussed in more detail below.

Does xerostomia (dry mouth) contribute to bad breath?

Even if you don’t have any particular problems associated with bad brathr, you probably noticed that in the morning, when you just woke up, your breathing is much less fresh. This happens because our mouth “dries out” at night – because our body produces less saliva during sleep. The result of such drying is the “morning breath”. For example, teachers or lawyers, who have to talk for several hours, often notice the same “drying out effect” – this also makes the mouth dry. Some people suffer from chronic dry mouth – a condition called xerostomia. It is even more difficult for them to solve problems with fresh breath. The moisture in our mouths helps cleansing. We constantly swallow saliva – and with every gulp, millions of bacteria are washed out of our mouths, as well as particles of food that these bacteria feed on. In addition, saliva dissolves and washes the waste products of bacteria in the mouth.

Saliva is a special form of mouth moisturizing liquid, a kind of natural mouthwash. Any moisture can have a cleansing and dissolving effect; saliva, in addition, contains special components that kill bacteria and neutralize their metabolic products. When the mouth dries, the beneficial effects of saliva are greatly reduced. The neutralization of bacteria slows down, and the conditions for their growth improve.

Chronic drying of the mouth – xerostomia – can also be a side effect of taking certain medications. Xerostomia can be caused by antihistamines (drugs for allergies and colds), antidepressants, drugs that regulate blood pressure, diuretics, tranquilizers, narcotic substances. Dry mouth may increase with age. Over time, our salivary glands stop working with the same efficiency, and the composition of saliva changes. This leads to the fact that the cleansing functions of saliva weaken. People who have been suffering from xerostomia for a long time often have periodontal disease (gum disease). Gum disease can also cause a bad smell.

Can periodontal disease cause bad breath?

Periodontal disease, which is commonly referred to simply as “gum disease”, can also cause bad breath. Ask any dentist – the smell in gum disease is very specific, and an experienced doctor can determine the presence of such a disease even before starting to examine the patient.

Diseases of the oral cavity is the second most common cause of bad breath (the first, as you remember, is the accumulation of bacteria).

More often people older than 35 years suffer from them. Thus, the older the person is, the more likely it is that problems with fresh breath are caused by the state of her gums. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the soft tissues surrounding the teeth. If such a disease is neglected, it can lead to serious damage of the bone into which our teeth are “inserted”. Often, if this disease progresses, gaps form between the teeth and gums (dentists call them “periodontal pockets”), in which a large number of bacteria accumulate. These pockets are so deep that they are difficult to clean properly; bacteria and their waste products that accumulate in them also cause bad breath.

Can a respiratory disease cause bad breath?

It definitely can. Diseases of the upper respiratory tract, allergies – all lead to the fact that mucous secretions begin to move from the nasal cavity to the mouth, through an opening in the soft palate. The accumulation of these secretions in the mouth can also cause an unpleasant odour.

People with sinus disease often face the problem of the blocked up nose, which forces them to breathe through their mouths. Breathing through the mouth contributes to its drying out, which, as we already know, also causes bad breath. With sinus disease, antihistamines (anti-allergic) drugs are often taken, which also contribute to the drying of the mouth.

Which dental diseases can cause bad breath?

In most cases, unpleasant odour in the mouth is an outcome of various diseases of the oral cavity itself. Any active infection in the mouth associated, for example, with an abscess of a tooth or a partially erupted wisdom tooth, can cause an unpleasant odour. Extensive untreated carious cavities on teeth can accumulate a large number of bacteria and food residue, which also cause an unpleasant odour. If you have such diseases, your dentist will certainly identify them and offer effective treatment methods.

Can other untreated diseases cause unpleasant odour?

Some diseases of the internal organs can also cause bad breath. If the patient has tried all the usual ways to eliminate the unpleasant odour, but they have not led to anything, then a visit to the therapist will not hurt. Your doctor definitely knows which diseases are most likely in your case; but, for general information, bad breath can occur with diseases of the respiratory tract, liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal diseases.

Can dentures cause the unpleasant odour?

Dentures (full, partial, removable, etc.) can have a significant effect on the freshness of your breath. If you wear any kind of denture, you can do a simple test to check if your denture is causing the unpleasant odour:

Remove your dentures and place them in a closed container, such as a plastic breakfast box. Close it tightly and leave it for about five minutes. Then sharply open it and sniff it . People with whom you are talking feel approximately this the smell from your mouth.

Although in most cases the problem of bad breath is associated with the accumulation of bacteria on the tongue, on or around the teeth (periodontal disease), bacteria can also accumulate on the surface of dentures – and this also causes an unpleasant odour.

What is the main reason of bad breath?

In most cases, bad breath problem depends on the condition of the oral cavity. Namely, an unpleasant smell is usually caused by the bacteria that live in it. Bacteria, like humans, consume food and excrete its waste throughout life. The waste products of some types of bacteria are sulfur compounds, and they are the cause of the unpleasant odour. Do you remember how a rotten egg smells? This smell is also caused by the formation in the egg of a sulfur compound – hydrogen sulfide. The specific smell of compost heaps or stockyards also owes its “fragrance” to the presence of a sulfur compound – methyl mercaptan. Bacteria that live in our mouth produce both of these compounds. These substances are collectively referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds” (VSC). The term “volatile” means that these substances evaporate quickly, even at normal temperatures. The “volatility” of these compounds also explains their ability to quickly penetrate, so to speak, into the noses of the people around us. Although these substances mainly form bad breath, bacteria living in the oral cavity, emit other products that have the very unpleasant aroma. Here are some of them:

– Cadavrin is a substance that forms a characteristic cadaveric smell.
– Putrescin – forming stench with rotting meat.
– Skatol is the main component of the smell of human feces.

You will probably be quite surprised to learn that in a normal human mouth there may be such a “bouquet” of unpleasant odours – but this is so, and, unfortunately, there are no exceptions. Each person, to one degree or another, has in his breath these aromas. Fortunately, the human sense of smell does not capture these smells if their concentration in breathing is low. Only when it rises, the same specific unpleasant odour form.

What types of bacteria cause bad breath?

Most chemical compounds that cause the unpleasant odour (hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, cadavrin, putrescine, skatol) are secreted by anaerobic bacteria (their more precise name is gram-negative anaerobes). The term “anaerobic” means that they live and breed best in places where there is no oxygen. In our mouths, there is a constant struggle for living space between bacteria that produce products that form the unpleasant odour and other bacteria that do not. The freshness of our breath is determined, in fact, by the degree of equilibrium in the presence of both these bacteria. The accumulation of plaque (a white membrane that forms on the tongue and teeth – on the gum line and below) can change this balance in favor of bacteria that emit the unpleasant odour. Imagine – a plaque layer with a thickness of only one or two tenths of a millimeter (that is, about a banknote thick) already does not contain oxygen at all. Thus, there is no better place for bacteria. Therefore, as plaque builds up, it is inhabited by more and more bacteria that form bad breath – which means that each of our exhalations contains more and more compounds secreted by these bacteria.

What do anaerobic bacteria that form the unpleasant odour consume?

Most bad smelling substances that cause bad breath are released by the bacteria after protein consumption. Therefore, when we eat food such as meat or fish, the bacteria living in our mouth get their share of the food. The substances that they excrete after eating are those very compounds which cause the unpleasant odour. Anaerobic bacteria will find proteins – their favorite food – in anything, even in the cheeseburger you eat. Furthermore, there will always be for them “natural” protein foods in our mouths- for example, dead skin cells, or numerous protein components contained in saliva. If you unregularly use a toothbrush and floss, a real feast is formed in your mouth for bacteria – the residue of food from today’s breakfast, yesterday’s dinner, and yesterday’s dinner …

Which foods contain the most protein?

Meat, fish and seafood, eggs, dairy products (milk, cheeses and yoghurts) – there is a lot of protein in all these products. Most people get about two-thirds of the required proteins from them. Other sources of protein are cereals and their products, nuts, leguminous plants (peas, beans and lentils). The ingredients that make up many of our favorite desserts (such as cakes and pies) turn these delicious dishes into real protein pantries.

Where do the bacteria that cause the smell live?

In most cases, these bacteria are accumulated on the tongue, but they also have many other “habitats”.


Remember the “experiment” that we recommended you to do at the beginning of this section. Although the smell formed in the front of our tongue may not be the most pleasant, it is usually not the main source of problems with freshness of breath. The main “component” of the unpleasant odour is formed on the back of the tongue. Go to the mirror, stick out your tongue and carefully examine it. You will probably see a whitish coating on its surface. Closer to the back of the tongue, this plaque becomes denser. The number of bacteria that is accumulated on the human tongue depends on the texture of its surface. People whose tongue surface has more folds, grooves and indentations, will have higher number of bacteria than people with a smoother tongue surface. In order to create a favorable environment for the life of bacteria in the white layer on the tongue,,i.e. deprived of oxygen, this layer can have a thickness of only one to two tenths of a millimeter. Such an “oxygen-free” environment is also called anaerobic; it is in it where bacteria live and reproduce best. Studies have shown that the number of bacteria on the human tongue directly depends on the thickness of the white layer covering it. And as you can guess, the freshness of your breath depends on the number of bacteria: the fewer they are, the fresher it is.

Periodontal sources

Bacteria that cause the unpleasant odour feel quite comfortable in oral cavity areas other than the tongue. You may have noticed that the unpleasant odour also sometimes appears during brushing. And perhaps this smell becomes more noticeable when you start brushing between the back teeth. Bacteria that form bad breath also find their “home” between the teeth. Dentists call these areas “periodontal” (“paro” means near”, and “dont” means “tooth”). Even in a more or less healthy mouth, bacteria can find an oxygen-free (anaerobic) environment, for example, under the gum line, around and between teeth. People suffering from periodontal diseases (“gum disease”) have the increased number of such anaerobic “corners”. Periodontal disease often leads to damage to the bone that surrounds the teeth. This, in turn, leads to the formation of grooves between the teeth and gums (dentists call them “periodontal pockets”). These pockets are generally very difficult or impossible to empty, and they become the ideal anaerobic environment in which bacteria that cause unpleasant odours live and multiply.

How do I get rid of the unpleasant smell?

Since the main source of bad breath is the bad smell of bacteria (volatile sulfur compounds), the best way to get rid of them is to clean the oral cavity so that:

– Deprive bacteria of nutrients.
– Reduce the amount of bacteria already accumulated in the mouth.
– To weaken the anaerobic environment in which bacteria live and multiply.
– Prevent the formation of new areas of reproduction of bacteria.

In addition, you can use cleaners that reduce the activity of unpleasant odour-causing volatile sulfur compounds.

How can I deprive bacteria of nutrients?

As you remember, the main source of bad breath is the bad-smelling waste products of the bacteria that they secrete when they digest proteins. Therefore, people who stick to vegetarian foods (consisting mainly of fruits and vegetables) are less likely to have problems with freshness of breath than those who consume a lot of protein foods, for example, meat. In addition, it is very important to clean the oral cavity in a timely and correct manner – especially after eating protein-rich foods. After breakfast, lunch or dinner, the smallest particles of food remain in our mouths, which get stuck between our teeth, and also settle in a white coating on the back of the tongue. And since it is in these places that anaerobic bacteria that cause an unpleasant odour also accumulate, without properly cleaning your mouth after eating, you will provide them with a sufficient amount of nutrients for a long time.

To get rid of the unpleasant odour, you need to brush your teeth and gums. Bacteria that secrete products that form bad breath also live in plaque, which builds up on the teeth and on the gum line. In order to reduce this plaque, to prevent its further accumulation and to remove food residues that are “stuck” in the mouth and serve as food for bacteria, it is necessary to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums with a toothbrush and dental floss. Let us remind you again one thing about dental floss. If you do not carefully and daily clean the gaps between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot penetrate, it is unlikely that you will be able to treat bad breath.

Diagnostics of the causes of breath odour

Particular attention needs to be paid to diagnostic methods. First of all, it is necessary to report the presence of chronic diseases to the attending physician . It is established that the appearance of halitosis is significantly influenced by food and hygiene factors, therefore, patients are advised to refrain from eating, drinking, rinsing the mouth and smoking at least two hours before carrying out diagnostic measures.

The first is the hedonistic method of research, conducted by a physician who evaluates the quality and strength of the unpleasant odour, and gives a Rosenberg score of 0 to 5 points. The main drawback of the method is subjectivity.

The next stage is the measurement of the amount of sulfur compounds in exhaled air using the special Halimeter sulphide monitoring device. Hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan and dimethyl sulfide make up 90% of all volatile sulfur compounds in the oral cavity, therefore, determining the concentration of these gases is the best way to determine the severity of halitosis.

The next stage is a microbiological study. The diagnostic stage is very important, because therapeutic tactics will depend on the source of the unpleasant odour and the reasons that caused it.

Visit your dentist

If your bad breath does not disappear after all the taken measures, call and make an appointment with your dentist, where you can not only discuss the problem in detail, but also apply the necessary procedures to clean your mouth. This may be the best way out because:

1) Not all people know how to most effectively operate with dental floss and tothbrush. After examining your mouth, the doctor will teach you the necessary techniques.

2) Tartar that has grown on teeth can interfere with effective toothbrushing. Your dentist will remove it.

3) If you have signs of periodontal disease (“gum disease”), the doctor will identify them and offer you the appropriate treatment. Periodontal disease can seriously damage your teeth and the surrounding bone. In this case, deep “pockets” are formed between the teeth and gums, in which bacteria accumulate – and it is so deep that it is difficult or even impossible to clean them.

4) During the examination, your doctor will identify if there are any other untreated diseases that can intensify the bad smell.

5) If your doctor finds that it seems unlikely that these diseases are the cause of an unpleasant odour, she will suggest to you to make an appointment with a therapist and give appropriate explanations.

You need to clean your tongue thoroughly

Since most people tend to ignore this procedure, try to make it a part of your daily oral care. Very often, the use of this method alone – without additional measures – helps eliminate the unpleasant odour. Think again of the “experiment” that we recommended you to do at the beginning of this section. Then we found out that the front of the tongue has the less unpleasant odour than the back. This is because the front region of the tongue is constantly self-cleaning – and therefore less anaerobic bacteria accumulate on it. During the movement of the tongue, its front part constantly rubs against the hard palate – this is how cleansing takes place preventing the accumulation of bacteria. Unlike the front, the back of the tongue during its movement is in contact only with the soft palate. In this case, effective cleaning does not work. Therefore, bacteria that cause the unpleasant odour accumulate mainly on the back of the tongue, and therefore this area needs periodic cleaning.

How to clean the tongue? There are several ways to clean the back of the tongue but they all have the same goal – to remove bacteria and food residue that are accumulated in this area. When cleaning the tongue – no matter what method you use – you need to try to get as far as possible in order to clean as much of its surface as possible. If you start to choke, do not be surprised. This is a natural reaction, but over time this reflex should weaken.

How to clean your tongue with a toothbrush or a special brush?

To clean the surface of the tongue, you can use a toothbrush or a special brush to clean the tongue. Start cleaning from the farthest sections that you can reach, then gradually shift the brush movements (directed forward) towards the front of the tongue. Movements should be made with some pressure on the surface of the tongue – but, of course, not too strong so as not to cause irritation. For more effective cleaning of your tongue, you can use toothpaste, because it contains the same ingredients as in the mouth-cleaning fluids. You can learn more about this on the page dedicated to oral cleaners. Pastes neutralize volatile sulfur compounds. Since it is VSC that cause the unpleasant odour, toothpastes containing VSC neutralizers, such as chlorine dioxide or zinc, improve the freshness of your breath.

Pastes with antibacterial properties

If the paste that you use contains antibacterial substances, for example, chlorine dioxide or cetylpyridone chloride, you can “expel” and destroy anaerobic bacteria when cleaning your tongue.

Although cleaning the tongue with a toothbrush can bring quite satisfactory results, many people prefer to use a special spoon to scrape out the tongue, believing this method is more effective. Some patients claim that they choke less when scrubbing the tongue with a spoon than when cleaning it with a toothbrush or special brushes. In order to test your reaction to this method, you can conduct a simple experiment. Take an ordinary spoon in the kitchen (better take a teaspoon than a tablespoon), turn it over and try to scrape a tongue with it. To do this, touch the back of the tongue with a spoon, gently squeeze it and pull forward. Do this carefully but without effort. Do not scratch too much – this can cause irritation of the surface of the tongue. If scraping as a method does not cause you any objection, buy a special spoon in the pharmacy designed for this purpose. It is very possible that it will clean out your tongue more effectively than a teaspoon.

What types of liquid mouthwashes can help to get rid of bad breath?

Liquid mouthwashes, if used along with regular and effective cleaning of the tongue, brushing and flossing teeth, can also help a lot in getting rid of bad breath. You should not only rely on mouthwashes and neglect the rest of the listed measures. The ability of a liquid mouth rinse to effectively deal with bad breath is associated with some of its properties, namely:

A) Antibacterial properties. If the mouthwash has the ability to kill bacteria, it can help reduce the amount of anaerobic bacteria in your mouth. Since it is these bacteria that emit volatile sulfur compounds, which in turn form bad breath, the less these bacteria in your mouth is the better.

B) The ability to neutralize volatile sulfur compounds. The composition of the mouthwashes includes components with the ability to neutralize volatile sulfur compounds and their constituent substances. As you recall, volatile sulfur compounds are foul-smelling substances that form the unpleasant odour. If a mouthwash is able to reduce their content in your breath, then it will naturally be fresher.

Listed below are some substances that have the ability to effectively neutralize bad breath. These substances, as a rule, are part of the mouthwashes sold in pharmacies.

A) Mouthwashes containing chlorine dioxide or sodium chlorite (Antibacterial / Neutralize volatile sulfur compounds)
Many dentists believe that mouthwashes containing chlorine dioxide or formig it sodium chlorite play a crucial role in neutralizing bad breath. Research data suggests that chlorine dioxide has a double effect:

Chlorine dioxide is an oxidizing substance (this means that it releases oxygen). Since most bacteria that cause the unpleasant odour are anaerobic (that means they prefer to live in places where there is no oxygen), exposure to an oxidizing substance helps to reduce their number, which, accordingly, reduces the unpleasant odour.

Chlorine dioxide also affects the level of volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth. It neutralizes those compounds that bacteria have already managed to isolate, and at the same time destroys those substances from which these compounds are subsequently formed. The result is the sharp decrease in concentration of volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth , and fresher breathing, of course.

B) Mouthwashes with zinc content (neutralize volatile sulfur compounds)
Studies have shown that mouthwashes containing zinc ions can also reduce the concentration of volatile sulfur compounds. It is believed that this is due to the ability of zinc ions to destroy those substances from which bacteria “make” sulfur compounds.

C) Mouthwashes of the “antiseptic” type (Antibacterial)
“Antiseptic” mouthwashes (e.g., Listerine and its equivalents) are also considered suitable odour neutralizers. The effectiveness of these products is related to their ability to kill bacteria that produce volatile sulfur compounds. However, “antiseptic” mouthwashes can not destroy these compounds . Many dentists believe that “antiseptic” mouthwashes are not the best choice. These statementsare based on the fact that the “antiseptic” mouthwashes contain the high level of alcohol (often about 25 percent). Alcohol is a strong desiccant (dehydrating substance), and therefore dries the soft tissues of the mouth. If you remember our section on xerostomia, it is dry mouth that can be one of the causes of bad breath.

D) Mouthwashes with cetylpyridone chloride (Antibacterial)
Cetylpyridinium chloride (cetylpyridinium chloride) is a component that is sometimes included in liquid mouthwashes. With an antibacterial effect, it helps to reduce the number of anaerobic bacteria.

Do mint tablets, sweetmeats, drops, sprays and chewing gums help to get rid of the unpleasant odour?

Like mouthwashes, mint tablets, sweetmeats, drops, sprays, chewing gums, etc. per se are not the most effective means of eliminating the unpleasant odour. However, if you use these products in combination with thorough and regular cleaning of the tongue, brushing your teeth and floss, their effect can be very positive – especially if they contain substances (for example, chlorine dioxide, sodium chlorite and zinc) that can neutralize volatile sulfur compounds. In addition, mint tablets, sweetmeats and chewing gums stimulate the formation of saliva. And we already know that saliva cleanses the oral cavity from bacteria and their secretions, which means it helps to get rid of the unpleasant odour.

How to use a liquid mouthwash to achieve the greatest effect?

Bacteria that form the unpleasant odour live both on the surface and in the depths of the white plaque that accumulates on the teeth, gums, tongue and around them. An antibacterial mouthwash alone cannot penetrate the depth of this plaque, and therefore, before using such a cleaner, it is better to remove as much plaque as you can with your usual methods – scraping the tongue, brushing your teeth and flossing. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash after these procedures can remove any remaining bacteria. Rinse aid should not only be taken into the mouth, but also rinsed thoroughly. Before rinsing, say “aaaaa” – this will allow you to stick out your tongue, so that the rinse aid gets into its back area, where the bacteria accumulate. After rinsing, the rinse aid must be spat out immediately. That is why children should not be allowed to use the rinse aid – they may accidentally swallow it.

How to clean dentures?

If your dentist has installed dentures in your mouth, she must explain to you how to clean them properly. Since bacteria accumulate on your dentures in the same way as on natural teeth, on the tongue and gums, the doctor will advise you to clean your dentures with an ordinary toothbrush or a special brush, both their external and internal parts. After cleaning the prostheses, they need to be placed in a container with antiseptic liquid (which one – your dentist will also advise you).

What measures can be taken to get rid of bad breath on your own?

Drink more water
Oddly enough, consuming large amounts of water during the day will also help you to reduce odours. With a lack of water, your body will try to hold it, thereby it will reduce the formation of saliva which will, as a result, less effectively dissolve and rinse bacteria and their secretions that form the unpleasant odour. A sufficient daily amount of water is especially important for people suffering from xerostomia (chronic dry mouth).

Rinse your mouth with water
Rinsing your mouth with plain water will also help you to reduce odours for a short period of time. Rinsing also dissolves and rinses off the secretions of bacteria that harm the freshness of your breath.

Stimulate the secretion of saliva
It will also help you reduce bad breath. You remember that saliva cleanses the mouth, dissolves and flushes bacteria and their secretions. The easiest way to stimulate the release of saliva is to chew something. When you chew – whatever it is – it seems to your body that you are eating, and therefore it gives a signal to increase the excretion of saliva. (Saliva is a very important component in the digestion of food). You can, for example, chew clove seeds, dill, mint or parsley. Mint tablets, chewing gums and peppermint candies help salivating, too. However, if you prefer these products, make sure that they do not have sugar. Sugar promotes the growth of bacteria that can cause tooth caries.

Pay attention to your oral hygiene especially after consuming protein foods
Anaerobic bacteria emit volatile sulfur compounds – the cause of the unpleasant odours – as a result of protein consuption. After you have eaten meat, fish, or any other protein-rich food, thoroughly clean your mouth so that the smallest particles of protein food do not serve as a breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria.

Helminthiasis treatment helps to eliminate children’s bad breath
Scientists note that parents often notice children’s bad breath when they suffer fromh intestinal helminthiasis (especially with enterobiosis), which disappears after the eradication of helminths. Scientists suggest that stagnation of intestinal contents due to the presence of worms can be the cause of the unpleasant odour.

What diseases cause bad breath?

Diseases of the teeth and gums (caries, gingivitis, periodontal disease)
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, gastric ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, dysbiosis, any inflammatory diseases and tumors of the gastrointestinal tract)
Diseases of the liver and gall bladder (hepatitis, cirrhosis, cholecystitis, etc.)
Kidney disease
Helminthic infestations
Pathology of the respiratory system (any infectious and inflammatory diseases, tumors)
Trimethylaminuria and lactase deficiency
Diabetes mellitus and its complications
Taking many medications can also affect breathing freshness.

Treatment for bad breath

First of all, for a diagnosis and treatment, you need to consult a dentist. The doctor will detect if there is caries or gum disease, carry out sanitation (disinfection) of the oral cavity, and remove tartar if it is present. As a rule, after this, the smell ceases to bother most patients.

If the dentist comes to the conclusion that the smell does not occur in the oral cavity, but in the deeper structures of the body, she will recommend you to visit a therapist.

The therapist will prescribe an examination to determine the cause of your problems and will treat the disease that she will reveal. Many people will be disappointed that they did not find the name of a pill for bad breath, but smart people will realize that the treatment will be different depending on your personal cause of the smell. You may need a whole range of drugs, including antibiotics, which, as you know, cannot be consumed without a pathogen, and this can only be done through medical tests.

Doctors to contact if there is bad breath::

Therapist (general practitioner)

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