Many people worry about bad breath, either their own or someone
else’s. The advertising media have made much of the social stigma arising from
‘offensive breath’ to their own advantage. Bad breath or halitosis may indicate
a dental problem, but this may not always be the case.
The odour may be caused by factors in the mouth or by changes
occurring in other parts of the body.
· Decaying food particles on or between the teeth
· A coated tongue covered by growing microorganism.
· Unclean dentures
· Smell of tobacco
· Gum diseases with pus production involved
· Healing wounds after a surgery or extraction
Causes arising away from the mouth:
· Head cold with infected nasal air passages
· Acute inflammation of air spaces present within the facial
bones (often filled with a great deal of pus )
· Many waste products are broken down from food and drink
are excreted through the lungs and this applies to alcoholic
drinks as well as pungent foods like onion, garlic etc.
· Diabetes in which the patient has a sweet acetone breath.
Bad breath is not a disease; it is rather a symptom, which indicates the
presence of disease either within the mouth or away from the mouth. Odours,
which may appear unpleasant to many, may not be the same to some e.g. People
in the Mediterranean area are accustomed to the scent of garlic, a
scent which many people around the world find obnoxious.