Dealing with bad breath

What is bad breath?

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a growing concern that affects men and women of all ages. Halitosis is caused by bacteria collecting on the teeth, gums, and tongue and combining with salvia and food in the mouth. These bacteria in the mouth help to break down the food you eat and start the digestive process, but they can also cause unpleasant smelling gases that cause bad breath if you do not practice good oral upkeep and hygiene.

Studies show that an estimated half of the UK population suffer problems with bad breath at some point in their life, but most of the time a person may not be aware that they have a problem with bad breath. After tooth decay and periodontal disease, concern about halitosis is the third most frequent reason that people visit the dentist.

Individuals with bad breath may find it embarrassing in social situations and in their private life.

A common misconception about bad breath is that it starts from the stomach; however, bad breath almost always starts from the mouth’s oral cavity. ‘Morning breath’ too is caused mostly by reduced saliva production during the night that leads to changes in bacteria in the mouth. Bad breath may also be made worse by smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and eating strongly-flavoured foods.

A big part of improving a problem with bad breath is to understand the primary causes. Almost 90% of bad breath cases are because of bacteria build-up in the mouth rather than the stomach. Bacteria may gather in the mouth cavity around the teeth, gum pockets, and in the pits at the back of the tongue. The bad smell itself is caused by sulphurous gases. Quality mouthwashes like CB12 work to neutralise the formation of these gases without doing any harm to the bacteria that helps aid digestion.

Bad breath is mostly caused by:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis)
  • Loosening of the teeth (periodontitis)
  • Dry mouth
  • Infection in the lungs, throat, or nose
  • Illnesses like bronchitis, sinusitis, diabetes
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach)
  • Eating strongly flavoured foods
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Crash dieting and low carbohydrate diets may also be a reason of recent bad breath problems if you’ve started on a new diet. Most diets cause the body to break down fat and encourage the production of chemicals called ketones that can cause bad breath.