could be described as an unpleasant odour coming from the mouth region.
What to look for
a stale, unpleasant odour
coming from the mouth.
a foul, putrid odour coming
through the mouth from the stomach or other internal organs.
Bad breath affects most
people at some time, however usually just resuming normal healthy oral hygiene helps
re-establish a fresh smelling mouth. Occasionally people worry they have bad breath when
in fact they do not. There are three types of causes of bad breath
Regular cleaning is vital for
a healthy mouth and pleasant breath. Without it, bad substances develop in the mouth which
cause tooth decay and gum disease and odour.
The most dangerous is
a sticky coating of food particles, saliva, and bacteria on the teeth. Dental
problems such as tooth decay and gum disease can also cause breath problems.
Residual traces of coffee,
alcoholic drinks, tobacco smoke, and highly spiced or strong-smelling foods can also
contribute to mouth odour. Skipping meals can cause stale breath because eating stimulates
Bad breath can be caused by
indigestion, and post-nasal drip. Some diseases cause foul breath, including lung and
gastrointestinal ailments, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, tuberculosis, sinusitis.
Taking certain drugs, especially some antidepressants, may cause dry mouth and bad breath.
Anyone who has persistent bad
breath that doesn't seem related to oral hygiene or temporary indigestion should ask a
Doctor about the potential cause.
Good oral hygiene will take
care of most bad breath. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, especially after
meals when food particles may be trapped in your mouth. Eliminating strong-smelling food
can help reduce the problem, as can stimulating the flow of saliva and drinking plenty of
water. Mouthwashes, mints, and chewing gum often only mask the problem.
Plaque build-up is a major
cause of bad breath, so have your teeth cleaned by a dental professional regularly.
Chronic bad breath should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor or dentist.
If your breath is particularly bad on awakening, after meals, or after drinking
Nux vomica or Kali
Both are available over the counter.
Herbal Therapies -
Echinacea (Echinacea spp), myrrh (as a gargle).
peppermint tea taken after meals used everyday
parsley chewed can also be of benefit.
Preparations containing cloves,
aniseed, and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) also are popular.
A high-fibre diet with plenty
of whole grains, fresh fruit, and raw, leafy vegetables helps good digestion and reduces
the chance of bad breath. Also eating quality yoghurts containing acidophilus and bifidus.
Eating apples, oranges, and celery can help by cleaning the teeth, dispersing bacteria in
the mouth, and stimulating saliva flow.
Try chewing fresh parsley or
peppermint leaves, a method used by ancient Romans to sweeten their breath.
Try taking certain
supplements such as
B Complex, Magnesium, Digestive Enzymes.
When to seek further
the odour is accompanied by
inflamed or bleeding gums noticeable after you clean your teeth. These may be signs of
tooth decay or
foul breath persists
without any obvious cause after brushing and flossing the teeth and cleaning the gums and
tongue. You may have an internal condition that requires medical diagnosis and treatment.