More commonly known as bad breath, halitosis can be a devastating problem for someone to live with yet usually can be cured.
Halitosis (bad breath) is mostly caused by sulphur-producing bacteria that normally live on the surface of the tongue and in the throat. Sometimes, these bacteria start to break down proteins at a very high rate and odorous volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) are released from the back of the tongue and throat. Halitosis is not infectious.
Apart from the sulphur-producing bacteria that colonise the back of the tongue, the other major causes of halitosis are:
Dental factors – such as periodontitis (infection around the teeth) or poor oral hygiene
Dry mouth – caused by medicines, alcohol, stress or a medical condition
Smoking – which starves the mouth of oxygen.
Less common causes of halitosis include:
Acid and bile reflux from the stomach
Post-nasal discharge – for example, due to chronic sinusitis
Kidney failure, various carcinomas, metabolic dysfunctions, and biochemical disorders, together account for only a very small percentage of halitosis suffers
Foods – such as onions, garlic or cauliflower, which induce certain odours. However, these effects are only short-lived.
It not only affects your dental health, but can also affect your professional and social life, ultimately leading to low self-esteem and confidence. This problem that can range from: easy to resolve, too much more serious cases.
Bad Breath is often a symptom of a serious periodontal disease and needs professional treatment by your dentist.