Curejoy Expert James Dudley Explains:
Bad breath (medically termed ‘halitosis ‘) may have multiple causes including gum diseases, yeast infection, dental caries, bacteria build up, pneumonia, chronic sinus infection, gastritis etc. Foods like garlic and onion are infamous for causing bad breath that linger even after sploshing with a mouthwash. Some foods like garlic contain a sulfuric compound called ‘allicin’ that contributes to a pungent smell and taste that cause bad breath.
Certain bacteria in our mouth promote bad breath by breaking down leftover proteins from food particles, dead cells and mucous into amino acids. In order to extract energy from the amino acids, the bacteria further dissects those molecules, causing them to release volatile sulfuric gases that give off a distinct rotten egg stench. Although oral bacteria is the main culprit causing over 85 percent of halitosis cases, sometimes foul breath can be indicative of a deeper issue in our body. When you get a sinus infection or a severe cold, your breath may smell worse due to the mucous production spikes which leak down to the back of your throat onto your tongue.
Gastrointestinal malfunctions, postnasal drip, lactose intolerance, diabetes, stomach problems, kidney problems, pneumonia, throat infections, thrush, lung infection also induce bad breath. Fruity-scented breath is also caused by ‘Ketoacidosis’ which is induced by lack of food, where your body runs out of sugar to burn for energy and starts metabolizing fat.
Smoking and chewing tobacco can leave chemicals that remain in the mouth leading to bad breath. Smoking, especially can also precipitate other bad-breath causes such as gum disease or oral cancers.
Food particles that are not properly cleaned from dentures can rot or cause bacteria and odor. Loose-fitting dentures may cause sores or infections in the mouth, which can cause bad breath.
It’s important to thoroughly brush your teeth and floss twice daily. Brush or use a tongue scraper as far back as you can in order to strike at the ground zero (between the teeth and the back of our tongues) of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. Not doing so can lead to periodontal disease and gingivitis, which encourage foul breath.
Periodically drinking water washes away bacteria and particles that promote halitosis. Rinse your mouth after every meal. Natural remedies like chewing mint, parsley, fennel seeds and carrots can freshen your breath.
When improved oral hygenie doesn’t alleviate halitosis, a visit to the dentist is recommended. A dentist can help you take more forceful action to quell halitosis or a doctor can treat the disease which is causing chronic bad breath for you.