WHAT IS HALITOSIS?
More than 90 million people suffer from chronic halitosis or bad breath. In most cases it originates from the gums and tongue. Bacteria cause the odour from the decay of food particles, other debris in your mouth, and poor oral hygiene. The decay and debris produce a sulfur compound that causes the unpleasant odour.
DOES BAD BREATH COME FROM OTHER SOURCES THAN THE MOUTH?
Bad breath also may occur in people who have a medical infection, gum disease, diabetes, kidney failure, or a liver malfunction. Xerostomia (dry mouth) and tobacco also contribute to this problem. Cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy may experience dry mouth. Even stress, dieting, snoring, age and hormonal changes can have an effect on your breath. An odour that comes from the back of your tongue may indicate post-nasal drip. This is where the mucus secretion, which comes from the nose and moves down your throat, gets stuck on the tongue and causes an odour. WHY IS SALIVA SO IMPORTANT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST BAD BREATH?
Saliva is the key ingredient in your mouth that helps keep the odour under control because it helps wash away food particles and bacteria, the primary cause of bad breath. When you sleep, however, salivary glands slow down the production of saliva allowing the bacteria to grow inside the mouth. To alleviate "morning mouth," brush your teeth and eat a morning meal. Morning mouth also is associated with hunger or fasting. Those who skip breakfast, beware because the odor may reappear even if you've brushed your teeth.