Bad breath (halitosis) can be caused by:
- Certains foods we eat
- A dry mouth
- From smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Throat infections such as tonsillitis or bronchitis
- Kidney disease
Bad Breath Caused by the Food we eat
Bacteria love to feed on amino acids. Foods rich in amino acids are protein and dairy products. If we do not brush properly food particles left over from protein and dairy foods get lodged in our teeth thereby inviting bacteria to feed. The bacteria then settle in the mouth and release odors which causes bad breath.
You can also get bad breath from eating foods that give out strong odors like garlic and onions.
Bad Breath caused by a Dry mouth
It’s important for our mouth to be moist with saliva. Saliva helps to remove bacteria from the mouth. When our mouth becomes dry bacteria accumulate hence causing bad breath.
Bad Breath cause by Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
Smoking will cause the mouth to dry up thereby resulting in bad breath.
Chewing tobacco stains our teeth and gums which can cause mouth sores and tooth decay leading to bad breath.
Bad Breath caused by Throat infections
Mucous provides food for bacteria. When a person suffers from a throat infection mucous is produced. Bacteria feed on the mucous and releases unpleasant odors in the mouth.
Bad Breath caused by Diabetes
Diabetes can cause bad breath known as ‘fruity fumes’. Fruity fumes are caused by the ketone body acetone. The following is an explanation on how diabetes is capable of producing this type of smell.
Some of the food that we eat gets converted into glucose (from carbohydrates) while the rest into fatty acids (from fats) and amino acids (from proteins).
The pancreas produces insulin. Without insulin glucose cannot enter the cells in the body and be used as energy. A person having diabetes is unable to release adequate amounts of insulin which results in glucose accumulating in the blood instead of being released into the cells.
The body turns to breaking down muscle and fat to get the energy it needs. When this happens a byproduct called ‘Ketone bodies’ is released.
Ketone bodies are made up of three substances and acetone is one of them. Acetone is responsible for producing fruity fumes in the mouth.
Bad Breath caused by Kidney disease
Kidney failure can produce a foul odor similar to a fishy smell in the mouth.
Listed below are a few home remedies used to treat bad breath.
- Brush teeth in the morning and at night before going to bed. Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes and don’t forget to brush the surface of the tongue. The tongue can become a breeding ground for bacteria if left unclean.
- Make sure you use a mouthwash after brushing and don’t forget to gargle.
- Some people chew parsley or drink it in the form of juice or tea as they claim it’s effective in treating bad breath.
© Suranee Perera 2012