Bad smell from the mouth, also known as bad breath or halitosis medically, can be an embarrassing condition. You lean over to whisper to someone and the person leans back! Bad smell from the mouth has a significant effect on those who have it. This condition is very common and is known to be one of the common reasons why people seek dental advice.

Causes of bad odor in breath

Many of the bacteria in the mouth can produce bad smells, due to the breakdown of food particles into their simplest forms, producing bad detectable gases. Volatile sulfur compounds have been seen to be related to oral odor levels, and normally reduce following successful treatment.

Other parts of the mouth may also contribute to the overall bad smell, but not as much as the back of the tongue. Tongue bacteria produce smelly compounds and fatty acids, and account for 80 to 90 percent of all cases of mouth-related bad smell from the mouth Large quantities of naturally-occurring bacteria are often found on the back of the tongue, where they are relatively undisturbed by normal activity. This part of the tongue is relatively dry and poorly cleansed, and bacterial populations can thrive on food remains and other items found there


1. The first solution to this problem is good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth with a fluoride based toothpaste twice daily. Take time to bush into the corners of the mouth, the gums and more especially under the tongue. Do not forget to bush on the tongue as it provides a suitable surface for the habitation of bacteria.

2. Watch what you eat. Digestion of food starts from the mouth, and as food is broken down and absorbed into the blood, they are carried to the lungs and given off in the breath. As you open your mouth, you breath out this air from your mouth and if you eat foods with strong smell, this smell is given out from your mouth. Taking peppermint, gum or even brushing may just cover the smell up for a short time. Eat foods with less fat and proteins as these may cause bad smell from the mouth when broken down.

3. Alcohol and smoke. Avoid the intake of alcohol as it is a contributor to bad smell from the mouth. Alcohol when broken down in the mouth provides food for bacteria to feed on, causing bad smells. Smoking tobacco and other substances can also give bad smell from the mouth. By the mere opening of the mouth of a smoker, the smell of nicotine fills the air.

4. Seek medical attention.
Some bad smell from the mouth is a cause of medical conditions. These can only go when the causing condition is cured.

5. Drink a lot of water to keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum or candy can also help as they stimulate the production of saliva that washes food particles and bacteria from the mouth.

The good news is that, everyone at some point in time has had bad smell from the mouth. It is not anything that can kill. Just take preventive measures and your mouth will smell good once again.

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