What Causes Bad Breath and Halitosis?

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What are the most common causes of bad breath?

The leading bad breath causes are a particular type of bacteria found on the soft tissues of the mouth – mainly on the back of the tongue. These bad breath bacteria thrive under a blanket of mucus where they produce the sulphur gases that cause bad breath odour. No everyday mouthwash can eliminate these bacterial bad breath causes and toothbrushes are of little value in removing them.

Why doesn’t everyone have bad breath?

Studies of bad breath causes show us that some people have substantially more of these bad breath bacteria than others; no one knows why. What we do know is that at least fifty million people in America and about 1 in 4 people in the UK have some degree of halitosis and suffer the embarrassment that bad breath causes.

Some key facts about bad breath causes:

Smoking can cause ‘ashtray’ breath and the only way to get rid of this is to STOP smoking. Smoking also increases the risk of gum disease which is another cause of bad breath.

Dieting can cause a sickly sweet smell on the breath. This is due to ketones, a chemical created by the breakdown of fat. Some ketones are then breathed out with each breath.

If you suddenly have bad breath which is growing noticeably worse or is coupled with fever, cough, or other symptoms, seek medical advice.

Fear of Bad Breath (Halitophobia)

Some people think they have bad breath when they don’t. This results in strange and obsessive behaviour. Examples of this behaviour are covering their mouth when talking, keeping a distance from people and avoiding social situations. The phobia sufferer can become fixated on cleaning their teeth and tongue frequently, over use of chewing gums, mints and mouthwashes in the hope of getting rid of bad breath. This in turn can dry the mouth out actually causing causing bad breath or making bad breath worse! Talking to a psychologist can help. The best way to see if you have bad breath is to ask someone who you can trust to be honest and discreet.

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