Causes of bad breath
The cause of strong halitosis is usually poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease and a bacterial imbalance in the oral cavity. The unpleasant breath odor is caused by the buildup of bacteria - especially plaque bacteria, which are responsible for the decomposition process of organic substances in the oral cavity. These bacteria then accumulate at the gum line around the teeth or the back of the tongue. Not properly cleaning the dentures can lead to gum disease. The accumulation of bacteria also occurs during sleep, which is why the morning breath is rarely fresh.
This cause can already be remedied by sufficient and careful dental hygiene. This means that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly to clean the spaces between your teeth. In this way, you can create a good basis for eliminating bad breath.
If the breath from the nose smells unpleasant, which means halitosis is present, the most common causes are in the throat or sinuses.
Causes of halitosis include:
- Diets and fasting cures
- Chronic rhinitis
- Chronic sinusitis
- Tumours in the nose and throat
- Respiratory diseases
- Nasal polyps
- Sinus infection
Bad Breath due to caries
Existing tooth decay can also trigger halitosis. Pathogens such as streptococci primarily process sugar into acid, which in turn dissolves minerals from the tooth enamel and damages the tooth. These bacteria can also damage the gums, whereby inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) can, in the worst case, lead to periodontitis - an inflammation of the supporting apparatus as well as the tooth bed due to increased plaque. These inflammations in the oral cavity promote bad breath.
Dry mouth as a source of halitosis
During stress and psychological strain, the body releases hormones that lead to less saliva in the mouth. The reduced saliva flow in a dry mouth makes it less easy to remove food debris and plaque. Lack of fluids, alcohol and tobacco products also contribute to a dry mouth (xerostomia). Severe drying of the oral mucosa can also lead to halitosis; this can happen when you have a cold or when you sleep with your mouth open. Sufficient saliva is important for good oral hygiene because it ensures that food residues are rinsed out of the mouth. A dry mouth promotes the accumulation of bacteria and can thus be a cause of halitosis. Salivary glands can also be the reason for a dry mouth.
Halitosis due to the nose, tonsils or throat
Possible causes of bad breath from the mouth can also be problems with the ear, nose and throat if they build up to a postnasal drip.
Bacteria can infect the tonsils, causing tonsillitis and poor oral hygiene. Tonsil stones can form from deposits on the tonsils, causing odor-causing bacteria.
Inflammation of the throat can develop due to flu or a cold. These fours then also cause an unpleasant smell to come out of the mouth.
Some people suffer from chronic bad breath, and this is usually due to a disorder in the nasopharynx.
Stomach and intestines as a cause of halitosis
Many people assume that the cause of their bad breath is in the gastrointestinal tract. However, this is a common misconception. Often stomach diseases cause a sour oral malodour. The following gastrointestinal diseases can be causes of oral malodour:
- Reflux disease
- Diverticula in the gastrointestinal tract
- Infection with Helicobacter pylori
- Disturbances of the intestinal flora due to food intolerances
- Kidney disease
Halitosis due to your diet or medication
Countless other causes leave to oral malodor. Diets and your medical condition also play an important role. Besides the well-known foods and stimulants such as alcohol, onions or garlic, coffee, cheese or fish can also be triggered. When food is processed, some types of bacteria release fatty acids, polyamines and volatile sulphur compounds. This in turn leads to bad breath. Volatile sulphur compounds are extremely odour-active and are produced by microorganisms that are more common in oral diseases such as periodontitis. A six-fold prevalence of tongue coating was found in patients with periodontal disease compared to normal individuals. Diseases of the periodontium are therefore often accompanied by unpleasant breath.
In rare situations, bad breath can suddenly develop due to side effects of certain medications or occur in diseases of the digestive system. In the latter case, heartburn is a common accompanying symptom.