This disorder may result from poor dental hygiene habits or may be a sign of other health problems. 
Bad breath can also be aggravated by:

  • Certain foods that the person eats,
  • Other unhealthy lifestyle habits.



Causes of Bad Breath

poor dental hygiene   experts say that at least 90% of cases of halitosis is caused by poor dental hygiene.

When we eat, food is broken down by naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth.
When food and proteins are degraded, the body produces and releases gases(eg, hydrogen sulphide vapors) that are smelly.
After swallowing, some of the food gets trapped between the teeth and decomposes (rotting), the bacteria continue to break down the food.

Rotten eggs usually emit hydrogen sulphide.
Bad smell can be caused by methylmercaptan.
Bacteria that live in the mouth excrete hydrogen sulfide. These are sulfur compounds.
Dentists usually refer to these compounds with the acronym CSV (volatile sulfur compounds).
Volatile means that it evaporates easily, even at normal temperatures.

Dry mouth – the mouth is clean and moistened with saliva.
If the mouth is dry , the dead cells may accumulate:

  • In the tongue,
  • In the gums,
  • On the inner wall of the cheeks.

These cells start to rot and give off an unpleasant odor.
Smoking can cause dry mouth.
If there is a problem with the salivary glands, there is a greater chance of suffering from dry mouth and bad breath.

Bad breath in the morning   most people notice that their mouth does not have a pleasant smell on waking compared to the rest of the day.
The mouth tends to become drier when sleeping.
People who sleep with their mouths open probably have dry mouth when they wake up.
When the person gets up from the bed and starts eating, the saliva flow increases.
Generally, with good dental hygiene, bad breath in the morning is temporary.

Food and Beverages   Some foods such as onions, garlic and some seasoning can cause halitosis after they have been ingested.
Baking soda can help resolve the odors caused by these foods.
Alcohol and coffee are other possible causes of bad breath. The bad breath of garlic is not caused by bacteria, but by the garlic itself.
Bacteria in the mouth tend to produce larger volumes of smelly gas when the proteins are decomposed, for example by eating:

  • Meat,
  • Fish.

If pieces of meat get stuck between the teeth and the teeth are not washed properly, the risk of bad breath increases considerably.

Generally, a person who follows a vegan diet does not suffer from bad breath because fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes do not cause halitosis.
The problem comes up eating:

  • Animal proteins (meat, fish, milk and dairy products),
  • Processed, processed foods with many ingredients that are difficult to digest.

Cigarette smoke  smoking causes bad breath not just because of the unpleasant smell of smoke that enters the mouth and in the airways.
Smokers are more likely to suffer from gum disease and other dental problems that cause bad breath.
Nonsmokers are much less likely to have bad breath than smokers.

Bacteria  In most people who have halitosis, it is believed that bad odor is caused by bacteria and debris inside the mouth. When bacteria breaks down proteins and other debris in the mouth, they release foul-smelling gases. 

Food stuck between the teeth. The normal cleaning of the teeth can not remove all pieces of food. The food then decays and becomes full of bacteria. Cleaning the teeth after each meal with dental floss can resolve and prevent this problem.

Plaque and tartar on the gums
The dental plaque is an accumulation of soft whitish material that forms on the surface of the teeth.
It is formed when bacteria mix with food and saliva.
The plaque contains various types of bacteria.

The tartar is a substance consisting of 80% mineral salts derived from hardened and calcified plaque. The tartar binds tightly to the teeth.

Gum diseases are infections or inflammation  of the tissues that are attached to the teeth.

The periodontitis is an infection characterized by the proliferation of bacteria Gram negative .
These bacteria produce volatile sulfur compounds that are the source of bad breath ( Multidisciplinary breath-odour clinic Delanghe G, Ghyselen J, van Steenberghe D, Feenstra L Lancet, 1997 ).

White tongue on the back . In some people, a thin white layer develops on the back of the tongue. This patina may contain

  • Bacteria,
  • Fungi,
  • Keratin,
  • Waste.

This explains why bad breath can sometimes occur in some people, although they have good oral hygiene.

Certain types of medications can cause halitosis. Medications associated with bad breath include:
1. Nitrates –  are used to treat angina
2. Some chemotherapy drugs
3. Phenothiazine (tranquilizers).
If the medicine that the individual is taking causes bad breath, the doctor may advise an alternative.

Rigorous diet or fasting

Fasting can cause a sweet nauseating smell in the breath.
When blood sugar is low, the body breaks down fat to have the necessary energy and produce chemicals called ketones (ketone bodies).
Children may have ketosis when they have some disorder that does not allow them to eat.
Some ketones are expelled with each breath and cause a breath that smells fruity.

Other diseases that can cause bad breath are:



Who to look for bad breath?

For diagnosis, you must contact your dentist.
The assessment of halitosis is subjective and is based on the smell of air coming out of the nose or mouth and comparing the two ( sensory evaluation ).
The odor that comes out of the mouth but not the nose is probably of oral or pharyngeal origin.
The smell coming out of the nose alone can come from the nose or the sinuses.
In rare cases, when the odor coming out of the nose and mouth is similar, the cause of the bad smell is probably a disease:

  • From the digestive system,
  • Respiratory system.


Remedies for halitosis or bad breath

It is advisable to modify the diet to avoid bad breath.
A vegetarian or vegan diet without garlic , onion and other spices may be enough to solve the problem.
There are also herbal remedies, herbs or essential oils that can help.

1. Fennel
Fennel is a great deodorant for the mouth, in addition to being a natural antibiotic and fighting bacteria in the mouth.

  • Slowly chew a spoonful of fennel to freshen your breath and stimulate the production of saliva.
  • It is also possible to drink tea f uncho about twice a day. It is necessary to pour two teaspoons of fennel seeds into a glass of hot water. Drink after 5 to 10 minutes.

Fenugreek Fenugreek tea is very effective when bad breath is caused by an infection of the respiratory tract, for example, sore throat , laryngitis or bronchitis .

  • Boil one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water.
  • Strain and drink this infusion once a day to freshen the breath.

3. Clove
Cloves help to freshen the breath and also have excellent antibacterial properties.

  • The easiest method is to keep cloves in the mouth and chew well. In this way, it is possible to eliminate bad breath in a few minutes.
  • It is possible to prepare clove tea. Boil a cup of water, add a tablespoon of cloves and wait 5 to 10 minutes. Tea can also be used as a mouthwash twice a day.

The treatment for bad breath (halitosis) depends on the cause

Generally, the most effective treatment is the improvement of dental hygiene. As part of the daily routine we should:

  • Brushing teeth and gums,
  • Pass the dental floss between the teeth,
  • Brush the tongue.

Cleaning teeth to eliminate bad breath

Dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride.

  • Choose a small to medium sized toothbrush with soft synthetic bristles.
  • Replace the toothbrush every three to four months.
  • Brush your teeth after eating for at least two minutes each time. Keep a toothbrush at work or at school to brush your teeth after lunch.
  • Brush all areas of the teeth , paying special attention to the area between the teeth and the gums.

The dentist or oral hygienist may recommend a special brush with long bristles for some specific mouth problems.
Use a toothbrush or a separate scraper to gently wipe the tongue . Some toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner on the back of the head.
Use floss to clean between teeth and remove stuck foods that can cause cavities .
Brushing cleans only about 60% of the surface of the teeth.
Your dentist may suggest rinsing your mouth by day with antibacterial or anti-odor oral disinfectant .
This should not replace brushing, but it can be included as a home remedy.

Cleaning of dentures or dentures to eliminate bad breath

Whoever wears a dental implant should remove it at night to give the mouth a chance to rest.
Thoroughly clean the denture before putting it on the next morning. Follow the advice given below.

  • Do not use toothpaste to clean dentures as it could ruin the surface and cause staining.
  • Clean the dentures thoroughly with warm water and soap or denture cream and a  specific cleaning disinfectant .
  • Use a separate toothbrush to clean dentures.

Following this procedure will keep the dentures fresh and clean and will prevent buildup of plaque that can cause bad breath.


Effective Remedies for Fresh Breath

  • Follow a healthy balanced diet and avoid heavily flavored or spicy foods.
  • Reduce sugary foods and drinks because they can increase the amount of bacteria in the mouth; in particular, avoid snacks with sugary foods.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption .
  • Father smoking .
  • Reduce the coffee.
  • Drink  plenty of water to help prevent dry mouth.

Chewing gum
Some people chew sugarless gums after every meal. It is unclear if this can help reduce bad breath, but surely chewing increases the flow of saliva.
Saliva helps to wash the mouth and remove the remaining debris after meals.

However, chewing gums are harmful to the body and therefore are not recommended.

Diet and Food
Sugars and sugary foods in the mouth are the main foods that allow bacteria to thrive and produce acid that can contribute to tooth decay.
Acidic beverages and foods are other factors that contribute to tooth erosion.

Some Advice Against Bad Breath

  • Try to reduce the amount of acid in contact with your teeth.
  • Limit soft drinks (including carbonated water) and fruit juices because they tend to be acidic.
  • Quickly drink sour drinks (soft drinks and fruit juices)   do not keep the liquid in the mouth for some time.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth for 30 minutes after drinking sour drinks, such as fruit juice, or after eating sour fruit, such as orange, to help prevent erosion of teeth.
  • Likewise, do not brush your teeth before one hour after  vomiting  (since gastric acid is a part of vomiting).

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