Bad breath – what you need to know
Foul odour origins vary from oral and perioral origin to Internal organs and certain chronic diseases
Oral & perioral causes – usually associated with aggregation of bacteria and strongly linked to poor oral hygiene
1. Dental cavities…. most commonly contain bacteria which produce odour for as long as the bacteria is eating up dental tissues in a process called dental caries / tooth decay.
Tooth decay is caused mainly by excessive consumption of sugary foods and worsened by poor oral hygiene.
2. Gum disease …. usually as a result of plaque bacteria that decimates gum tissue and produces odour in the process.
This condition is aggravated by poor oral hygiene.
The severity of gum disease ranges from mild irritation and inflammation of the gums to very severe necrotising forms of gum disease.
Chronic gum disease leads to periodontal disease, whereby the jaw bone and other tissues surrounding the teeth get damaged, sometimes irreversibly.
3. Sinusitis …… thick green mucus clogs up the sinuses and nasal cavities.
The odour from this bacterial aggregation expresses itself through both the oral and nasal cavities.
4. Tonsillitis ….. Hot on the heels of a sinus infection comes a post – nasal – drip. This spreads infections to the back of the throat and, subsequently (if untreated), the lungs.
The worst odour from the tonsilitis occurs when bacteria surrounds the granules that form a around infected tonsils.
5. Throat infections …. infections often related to respiratory infections.
Odours from here manifest in both the oral and nasal cavities.
6. Oesophagus blockages, lesions and acid reflux can also cause odours that express themselves through the oral cavity
7. Food debris….. poor oral hygiene leads to food staying in the mouth for long and producing sulphur byproducts that produce odours.
8. Tobacco…. tobacco on its own has a distinctive odour that permeates the oral cavity.
On the other hand, the chemicals in tobacco products aggravate gum disease.
This combination is often not good for fresh breath.
9. Chronic diseases …… Patients with liver failure, diabetes, renal failure and cancer are closely associated with certain smells that manifest in odours coming out of the oral cavity.
10. Miscellaneous …. Drugs often break down in the various organs like the liver, kidneys and the gut; this leads to the odour produced coming out of the oral cavity.
“Ketotic breath” – this is a phenomenon that occurs in those who train to reduce weight or are fasting for religious and other health reasons.
At some point in their fat breaking (lipolytic) routines, they start producing ketones as byproducts.
When this happens, a distinctive smell (“ketotic breath”) is produced that manifests itself through the oral cavity.