There are many causes of bad breath.
The best home test to determine the presence of bad breath is lightly scrape the back of the tongue with a plastic disposable spoon and to smell the drying residue
About 20% of the general population are reported to bad breath.
The most common location for mouth related halitosis is the tongue.
Tongue bacteria produce malodorous compounds and fatty acids, and account for 80 to 90% of all cases of mouth-related bad breath some degree.
The second most common cause in the mouth is:
- Waste products from the anaerobic bacteria growing below the gumline have a foul smell and have been clinically demonstrated to produce a very intense bad breath.
- Food stuck between teeth. Normal teeth brushing may not clear bits of food which can get stuck between teeth. The food then rots and becomes riddled with bacteria.
The third most common oral cause is a dry mouth.Causes include:salivary gland disease,medication,dehydration,persistent mouth breathing.The most common cause of transient bad breath from dry mouth is after a night’s sleep which clears up when the flow of saliva increases soon after eating breakfast.
MANAGEMENT OF BAD BREATH
- Maintaining proper oral hygiene.This includes
- Twice daily tongue cleaning with a tongue scraper.
- Twice daily tooth brushing and flossing
- Dentures should be properly cleaned and soaked overnight in antibacterial solution
- Chewing gum: Since dry-mouth can increase bacterial buildup and cause or worsen bad breath, chewing sugarless gum can help with the production of saliva especially when the mouth is dry and thereby help to reduce bad breath
- Chewing on fennel seeds, cinnamon sticks, mastic gum, or fresh parsleycan help
- Several types of commercial mouthwashes have been shown to reduce malodor for hours in peer-reviewed scientific studies
- Eating a healthy breakfast with rough foods helps clean the very back of the tongue
Periodic visits to the dentist and hygienist for removal of the subgingival tartar has been shown to improve mouth odor considerably.