Bad breath is a condition known as halitosis and is used to describe disagreeable odour in the breath. The bacteria that cause bad breath needs an oxygen free environment to survive hence they are found between your teeth and the groove of your tongue. As the bacteria breaks down the food debris they release volatile sulphur compound, which produce the unpleasant odour in your mouth.
There are different types of breath odour which include:
- Oral malodour or morning breathe; is often experienced when waking and starvation can also lead to the same kind of odour. Oral malodour can be rectified by;
- Rinsing the mouth with fresh water.
- Tongue cleansing using a scraper after brushing your teeth may help.
- Malodour is a type of breath odour associated with what you have ingested and depends on your lifestyle. Foods such as spices, cauliflower or habits such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol can result to a distinctive bad breath.
The causes of bad breath include:
- Some foods and drinks.
Some foods and drinks such as onions, cabbages, garlic and alcohol contain sulphur, which creates odours that linger in the mouth and digestive system when ingested.
Tobacco causes deterioration of the lungs and gum disease which can cause bad breath.
Mouth and respiratory tract infections like tonsillitis, bronchitis and other lung infections and tumours can cause bad breath.
A postnatal drip for example, is caused by inflammation or infections in the throat, sinuses and nose. As the fluids drip down the back of the throat, they accumulate and cause bad breath.
Being anxious may increase the level of volatile sulphur compound therefore causing bad odour.
- Poor dental hygiene.
Poor oral cleaning habits like failure to remove food particles from in between the teeth, along gum lines and in braces can leave plaque causing bad breath.
- Dry mouth.
A dry oral environment can be caused by problems with the salivary glands which cause dryness. Also having your mouth open dries it out. This often happens when you are asleep and is a major cause of morning breath.
The best way to get rid of bad breath is by:
- Maintaining a good oral hygiene.
- Drink lots of water to moist your mouth.
- Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production.
- If you wear dentures periodically soak them in an antiseptic solution.