In order to battle causes of halitosis and find accurate ways of tackling it, it becomes essential to pin point the root cause. In spite of all the research and study that has gone into it, all the causes of halitosis have not been entirely understood. Bad breath could be transient or chronic. It could be a temporary oral condition or a deep rooted medical condition.
Several Causes of Halitosis
Certain foods are well-known for causing bad breath like onions and garlic. They are not easily masked by superficial cleansing routines once they get absorbed into the bloodstream and get expelled by the lungs. The smell remains until the body rids of it completely through various elimination processes like sweat, urine and stools. Diets high in fruits and vegetables help in keeping bad breath at bay.
Not following a good oral hygiene routine or not being able to effectively reach all the places in the mouth. Not cleaning oral appliances such as braces, retainers and dentures thoroughly or not able to properly remove food because of those appliances can cause bacteria build up.
Gum diseases which cause tooth erosion, build up of plaque and hard to reach pockets all over the mouth. Periodontal diseases cause a layer of plaque to form between teeth, in tooth pockets and under the gum surfaces. When the plaque becomes depleted of oxygen, it creates an environment which breeds anaerobic bacteria.
Sinus, Stomach or respiratory conditions often are the causes of halitosis. Maybe your dentist determines that there is nothing obviously wrong with your mouth. Thus you may be directed to your physician or a specialist to further ascertain the cause of your bad breath. Sinus and conditions of the upper respiratory tract cause post nasal drip at the back of the throat and tongue which is foul in odor and which is also food for the bacteria. Liver, kidney and gastrointestinal problems also can cause halitosis.
Bacteries can Causes of Halitosis
Anaerobic bacteria which is very conducive to breeding it makes smelly Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSC) and deposits it in our saliva. More than 400 types of bacteria found in a human mouth are predisposed to overpopulate when allowed to flourish.
Smoking, breath problems, dry mouth conditions are all major contributing causes of bad breath. Tobacco smoke irritates gums, aggravates existing gum conditions like periodontis , slows down the healing of gum tissue and increases dry mouth conditions. Dry mouth conditions are also caused due various other reasons like some medication usage, mouth breathing and salivary gland problems. Shallow mouth breathing due to allergies and a blocked nose is another major breeding factor for bacteria causing bad breath.
Hormonal factors during changes such as puberty, pregnancy, menopause etc can cause bad breath as hormones control the thickness of saliva and thicker the saliva lesser the oxygen, which is the environment for anaerobic bacteria.
Medications such as antibiotics or sulpha drugs increase the halitosis producing oral bacteria count. Other medications include sinus drugs, antihistamines, some antidepressants or any other drugs that dry out the mouth.
High protein foods like meats and cheese are digested by anaerobic bacteria which create waste products causing bad breath. There are enough naturally occurring protein food sources for the bacteria to feed on in the human mouth without the added high proteins from diet.