Causes of bad breath ?
Bad breath is a common health problem which greately affects the daytoday activities of somany people. The offenssive odor from the mouth is unpleasent to those who come in close contact with bad breathers. The problem will be doubled by psychological trauma leading to depression. The sufferers from this problem wil be isolated from the society. This can even lead to marital disharmony.
Literally speaking all humanbeings are badbreathres. Oral cavity contains millions of anaerobic bacteria like fusobacterium and actinomyces which acts on the protein of food materials and putrifies them. This process results in the formation of offenssive gases like hydrogen sulphide,methyl mescaptan,cadaverin,skatol,putrescine ect causing bad odor. If oral hygiene is not maintained properly all will suffer from bad breath. Most of us control this by regular brushing,tongue cleaning and gargling. Even after maintining cleanliness in the mouth some individuals suffer from offenssive smell due to various causes which has to be diagnosed and treated properly.
Some common causes of bad breath.
1) Poor oral hygiene:
If oral hygiene is not maintained properly the mouth becomes the seat for millions of bacteria which produce offenssive gases by degrading the food debris. Bad breath is severe in those who do not brush their teeth regularly and clean their mouth after every food. Snacks taken inbetween meals can also produce bad breath because of improper cleaning.
Badbreath is common in almost all people in the morning on waking. During sleep there is less production of saliva .Saliva has got some antibacterial properties which help to keep the mouth clean. Saliva conains oxygen molecules which is needed to make oral cavity aerobic. So the reduction in it’s quantity during sleep makes a favourable condition for anaerobic bacteria.
2) Food habits:
The main cause of bad smell is due to degradation of protein by the bacteria and hence all food products rich in protein favours bad breath. Meat,fish,milk products, eggs,cakes,nuts,pear and ect can cause bad breath. Some food articles can produce particular type of smell which may be unpleasent. Raw onion can produce typical bad smell. It is said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away,a raw onion a day keeps everybody away. Eating groundnuts can also produce bad smell. However if proper cleaning is done smell can be reduced irrespective of the nature of food. Irregularity in timing of food can also produce bad breath. Small food articles taken in between the meals can also produce bad smell.
There is formation of a thin sticky coating called biofilm on the tongue and oral mucosa. This coating is thick on the posterior aspect of the tongue where millions of gram negative bacteriae are seen .The thick coating on the tongue is always associated with badbreath. Even a thin biofilm can make anaerobic condition favourable for bacterial proliferation.
4) Dental caries:
This is a destructive process causing decalcification with distruction of enamel and dentine resulting in cavitisation of the tooth. These are produced mainly by the lactobacilli . Food particles are deposited inside these cavities and are putrified by the anaerobic bacteria producing bad smell. Normal brushing will not remove the food debris easily and hence they are putrified completely. Caries are common in schoolgoing children and in those who donot maintain proper oral hygiene .Calcium and vitamin deficiency can also predispose caries.
Gum is a mucus membrane with supporting connective tissue covering the tooth bearing borders of the jaw .The main function of gum is protection .Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum .Due to various causes gum tissue get infected resulting in swelling,pain and discharge. If the condition become worse the infection spread towards peridontal area leading to continuous discharge called pyorrhoea. Some times the infection goes deep producing alveolar abscess with discharge of pus. Infection can even reach the bone causing osteomyelitis.All these conditions can produce offenssive smell.
6) Gum retraction:
When the gums retract from the teeth a gap is developed which will lodge food particles and cause bad breath.
7) Dental plaques and tartar deposits; Plaques and tartar is deposited mainly in the gaps between the teeth and gum. This will provide shelter for the food debris and bacteria causing bad breath.
8) Ulcerative lesions& coatings: