Halitosis: Bad Breath and It’s Causes

Do I have Halitosis?

Bad Breath Causes

Why do people have bad breath causes even after brushing? Between 50 and 60% of the population are affected by bad breath.

We’ve all smelt it, whether it’s from a loved one, a stranger, a patient, or a coworker (hope not J), but let’s look deeper into what causes bad breath and how it has an affect on our overall health.

There are some reasons a person might experience bad breath, some being harmless and others could be a sign of something more serious.



Bad Breath Causes lincoln ne coddington dental


  • The foul odor of bad breath is usually caused by a group of anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria that breed beneath the tongue and in the throat and tonsil area.  They occur naturally in the oral environment and are essential for the digestion of proteins found in food, mucus, phlegm, blood and diseased oral tissues. 
  • As the bacteria feed on proteins in the mouth, sulfur compounds are released from the back of the tongue and throat, which in turn releases a foul odor (bad breath).  They excrete waste as hydrogen sulfide and an odorous, bad-tasting compound known as volatile sulfur.  


**With all of the different kinds of bacteria living in our mouths and some of them can cause bad breath.  Gram-negative bacteria on the tongue may be the cause of most of the foul odors, but no single type of bacteria creates bad breath on its own.

Overall Health: Infections in the mouth can have bad breath causes.  Also, health problems such as sinus or lung conditions, bronchitis, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease can also be a cause of bad breath.  

Linking Odors to Medical Conditions:

  • Sweet or fruity odor may be related to uncontrolled diabetes. 
  • Ammonia odor may be related to liver disease. 
  • Urine-like fishy odor may be related to chronic kidney failure. 
  • Fecal odor may be related to intestinal blockage.

**If a patient says their breath tastes/smells like any of these, have them seek their medical provider’s attention.


How to Keep Bad Breath to a Minimum:

Temporary Solutions:

  • Brush regularly, floss, use a mouth rinse, chew gum, having your teeth cleaned on a regular basis, use a tongue scraper, quit smoking and keep the saliva flowing in your mouth. 
  • More Permanent Solutions of Prevention: Keeping a good balance of the right microbes in your mouth is a more permanent treatment for bad breath. 
  • Eat fibrous fruits and vegetables-Eat an apple a day also helps moisten the mouth. 
  • Take a dietary supplement such as Vitamin C, D, E and B which helps the body eliminate excess mucus and toxins. 
  • Eat foods rich in fiber. 
  • Drink green and black teas help eliminate sulfur compounds and reduce oral bacteria. 
  • Using an Oral Probiotic-They can come in dissolving tablets, mints, mouthwashes, gum or toothpaste.  They give the good bacteria more of a chance to begin colonizing areas afflicted with odorous bacteria.  Example: TheraBreath


Treating Tonsil Stones:
Gargle with an antiseptic mouth rinse such as Chlorhexidine followed by gargling with a probiotic mouthwash solution.



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