Halitosis or bad breath is mainly caused because of drying of the mouth. Dry mouth means the production of less saliva. Drying of the mouth can be because of breathing through the mouth while sleeping, health illness or medicines.
When there is a reduction in the saliva secretion, the odor-producing anaerobic bacteria build-up in the mouth. They live, multiply, and grow using the leftover food items inside the mouth. During the process, they produce a sulfur compound, which causes bad breath.
What causes halitosis and how it can be prevented?
Bad breath causes can be categorized into 3 different groups based on the following factors:
(1) Factors affecting the mouth
- Deep tooth decay or dental caries
- Food particles gathering in-between the teeth
- Various gum diseases and infections
- Drying of the mouth
- Respiratory tract infection such as bronchitis, tonsillitis, throat infections
- Due to catarrh
(2) Factors affecting the passages or airways
- Chronic or acute sinusitis
- Chronic bronchitis
(3) Factors affecting the stomach
- The food accumulation
- Gastrointestinal disorders
What is the cause of bad breath?
The real and the main reason for bad breath are oral and it can affect your personality and lifestyle.
(1) Oral hygiene
Oral hygiene is the main reason for bad breath. Bad oral habits can cause odorous breath. Bacteria multiply and grow inside the mouth and can render plaques. Hence, maintaining oral hygiene is very crucial.
You must practice brushing your teeth twice a day because residues of food items can act as a resource for the anaerobic bacteria to live and multiply. They break down the food particles, which causes the bad unpleasant smell.
Always ensure that you brush your tongue along with brushing your teeth. Build a habit of rinsing your mouth and flossing after having meals. Also, if the dentures are not properly cleaned, then the food particles tend to stick with them, causing bad breath.
(2) Food and drink
This is the second main reason for bad breath. Certain foods like garlic, onion, hot-spiced foods and peppers are the reasons for bad breath. Also, foods rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats can cause bad breath. Beverages like alcohols, coffee, dry up the mouth and builds bacteria inside the mouth and again, this causes bad breath.
If you are taking certain medicines, then usually, you will have a chronic bad breath. Certain medicines cause dry mouth. Some medicines linked with bad breath consist of – aspirin, nitrates, diuretics, tranquilizers, etc.
(4) Unhealthy lifestyles
Smoking discolors your teeth and makes your teeth sensitive to the plaques. Usually, heavy smokers have a bad breath due to less saliva and dry mouth.
(5) Medical problems and dry mouth
Dry mouth is one of the biggest reasons for bad breath in a person. Almost, the entire causes of bad breath are related to dry mouth. Anything that causes drying of the mouth can lead to the bad breath.
Drying of the mouth is a type of medical condition known as Xerostomia. Dry mouth can be because of various other reasons such as foods, diseases, medicines, less saliva production, sleeping, etc and these can harbor anaerobic bacteria in the mouth and tongue and this lead to bad breath.