At one time or another, everyone has had to deal with bad breath. It can ruin a good conversation, spoil a date, and banish visitors. And to top it all off, it’s quite embarrassing as well. Bad breath strikes for a variety of reasons, including tooth decay, and understanding those reasons can help you to avoid or treat them.
Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Tooth decay and gum disease are two of the most common reasons for bad breath. A study in the Journal of Medical Microbiology found that the scent comes from the release of sulphides from the mouth when the oxygen strikes the bacteria. This bacteria is similar to the kind that creates stomach ulcers, and it eats away at the teeth and the gums until treated. In many cases, it starts on the gums and gradually spreads to the teeth.
While tooth decay does not pose the same problem for individuals with dentures, the bacteria can still thrive even on dentures and lead to a similar release of sulphides and bacteria. This is part of the reason why it is so important to thoroughly clean your dentures.
Forgetting to Eat
Your body creates all kind of signals when it wants nourishment. It creates that familiar gastric rumble, and it stimulates saliva production. It also creates a bad breath that some people describe as smelling like “old iron” or “rotten eggs.” Part of this develops from the release of bacteria on the tongue as the saliva glands are stimulated. Part of this can also stem from the food you last ate. Eating a diet high in protein but low in good carbohydrates, for instance, can lead to the release of foul smelling ketones.
When your mouth dries out, the bacteria growth increases dramatically. While saliva can create some of the bad scents on your breath, the scents that develop in a dry mouth are far worse. This is one of the primary causes of morning breath. The bacteria sets to work on breaking down leftover food particles left in your mouth. There are always particles in your mouth, even if you just brushed. While breaking down these particles, the bacteria releases foul scents that are emphasized when they encounter oxygen.
A Side Effect from Your Medicine
Some medicines cause dry mouth while others just create bad breath. The latter typically occurs when the medication has chemicals that the body must break down and that then release the foul smell. The smell is then carried out of your body on your breath. This form of bad breath is one of the hardest to treat since the effect is taking place inside your body rather than in your mouth. Typical solutions such as breath fresheners, which usually mask bad breath, are not successful when it comes to this.