What is Bad Breath (Halitosis) ?

Bad breath (halitosis) is a common and universal problem that can lead to significant embarrassment.The commonest causes of bad breath are poor oral hygiene and gum disease.

Plaque is a mixture of bacteria, food residues and dead cells that forms between the gum and the tooth. The bacteria here create the unpleasant smell. If plaque is not removed regularly it contributes to bleeding gums and eventually loosening of the teeth.

If you do not practice good oral hygiene you will experience bad breath. A coated furry tongue is often a sign of indigestion, smoking or dehydration, all of which can add to the problems of bad breath. Breath only smells when certain aromatic chemicals are dissolved in it. These include methyl mercaptan, hydrogen sulphide and putrescine. Some of these may be absorbed from the bowel into the bloodstream and then circulated around the body until they are excreted via the lungs in the breath. Not a pleasant thought!