Common Causes and Solutions for Bad Breath

  1. Dry Mouth (xerostomia): Inhibition of saliva can be caused by a number of things; smoking, medication; mouth breathing; chemo, radiation therapy and dehydration to name a few. Saliva acts as a lubricant, a digestive aid and also has a role in oral hygiene. Saliva maintains the pH in the mouth. With a reduction in the salivary flow, it function is affected. The mouth loses its ability to clear food particles, resulting in a build-up of bacteria which can result in halitosis (bad breath).
    Solution:  Sugar free chewing gum helps to stimulate saliva, salivary substitutes, Drink water regularly, sugar free pastilles, ice chips.
  2. Morning breath: While we are sleeping, the body is busy detoxifying, repairing, and regenerating tissues. Saliva production dramatically slows during sleep there can be a build-up of bacteria after sleeping. This is relatively normal and is quite common.
    Solution: Drink plenty of water to hydrate and help eliminate toxins
  3. Specific Foods: Onions and garlic are the foods we most commonly associate with bad breath. However, foods high in sulfer are also contributing to this; for example cauliflower and brussel sprouts. These foods may not taste strong however they do contain sulfuric producing compounds when they are digested.
    Solution: Try to minimize the intake of these particular foods if you find it is causing bad breath
  4. Sinus infection or cold: There is a build-up of bacteria and mucous in the nasal cavity which travel between the nasal cavity and the throat. This can cause a build up of bacteria which can result in halitosis.
    Solution: Take local remedies.
  5. Cavities: When there is a defect in the tooth structure food particles can get trapped and cause decay. This also acts as a food trap and can harbour bacteria and produce odour.
    Solution: Regular check ups to prevent large cavities and eliminate bacteria.
  6. Compromised Immunity: Bad breath is often caused from a build up of bacteria. When our immune systems are compromised the bacteria that is contributing to halitosis is not as well controlled.
    Solution: Take vitimins and eat well to keep bacterial/viral infections at bay.
  7. Throat Infection/Strep Throat: Bacteria in the throat travel to the oral cavity and can reside on the tongue. This can cause a foul odour.
    Solution:  Cleaning/Brushing the tongue can help with this, and ensure the throat infection is being treated.
  8. Heartburn or Acid reflux: gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition where acid from the stomach leaks back up the oesophagus and can trigger bad breath.

    Solution: Get the condition under control; you may need to see a doctor to cure this.