The Causes Of Bad Breath

Getting To The Bottom Of The Problem

Pinpointing the source behind your breath odor problem can be a lengthy process since the causes of bad breath are diverse and can range from simple to highly complicated.

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an unpleasant problem that is either chronic or occasional. When its occasional and infrequent it is usually much easier to figure out it's source. For example, bad breath that can be linked to an event like consuming onions, garlic, curry etc., all of which are foods that have sulfur (its breakdown is responsible for the unpleasant odor) in their composition. However, chronic halitosis (long history and reoccurring) can be a little trickier to pinpoint.

Figuring out what the source of your bad breath is will take into account a number of issues.

The causes of bad breath can range from as simple as improper oral care, to as complicated as a symptoms of a disease or infection. Since the professional consensus appears to be that all most all bad breath scenarios can be sourced to the mouth, consulting your dentist would probably be a good first step.

Some of the most impressive research on the causes of bad breath have been conducted by Dr. Harold Katz:

We all have the presence of helpful bacteria on our tongues, to assist with the breakdown of "proteins found in specific foods, mucous or phlegm, blood, and in diseased or "broken-down" oral tissue."

Proteins consist of amino acids, and when specific amino acids that are especially dense with sulfur come into contact with these helpful bacteria, a compound called volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) are formed. These compounds are the culprits behind the bad breath odor and bad taste.

Most of the known causes of bad breath include:
  • Poor oral care habits- Are you effectively brushing your teeth several times daily, flossing daily and cleaning your tongue's surface, all of which will help reduce plaque build up, loosen particles of food from teeth and gums, and avoid food particle fermentation and VSC (see above) collection and in your mouth.
    For more on issues of oral care that can effect your breath, click here.
  • Gum Disease Or Infection In The Mouth
  • Dietary Habits- *Certain foods tend to produce VSCs more readily than others and are divided into four main categories;
    1. Drying Agents ie. alcohol (some mouthwashes contain alcohol which worsens the problem of bad breath).
    2. Dense Protein Foods (depending on the person ie. lactose intolerant)
    3. Sugars (ie. like even found in breath mints which mask breath and worsen sulfur production)
    4. Acids ie. coffee, citrus juices
  • *The above information was resourced from Dr. Harold Katz's research. He is highly educated with degrees in dentistry and bacteriology and highly experienced putting his research successfully to the test in breath clinics all across California. How to get rid of bad breath is his specialty with an extensive line of products that successfully address a variety of breath odor issues with impressive customer testimonials to support them.

    For more on dietary habits that can impact your breath, click here.

  • Other Factors- If you are part of the population that deals with a physical condition of some kind ie. allergies, sinus congestion, are lactose intolerant, or on medication you may be dealing with bad breath for that reason. For example, there are many medications that have side effects such as dry mouth or alter taste perception. As a result, the naturally occurring healthy saliva in your mouth that acts to keep bacteria in check and bring oxygen into play (important), becomes diminished.
  • Systemic Disorders- Diseases that effect the entire body, are known to be causes of bad breath ie. hypertension, liver disease, cancer to name a few.

If you find yourself very concerned over you bad breath and you suspect health issues are at the heart of its cause, although there is lots of great medical information on-line, nothing can replace visiting you own family physician for proper diagnostic care.

Here is an example of the medical approach to diagnosing the causes of bad breath. According to the **National Medical Society's on-line diagnostic questionnaire, part of the first line of questioning in dealing with chronic bad breath covers the following issues:

  • length of time dealing with bad breath
  • age of individual
  • presence of a cough
  • presence of sputum which is the secretion that comes up as a result of deep coughing
  • experience heartburn
  • have toothache
  • have sore throat
"Online Medical Diagnosis is a diagnosis and treatment program that uses medical specialists to accurately diagnose symptoms"

National Medical Society

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If you would like to consult an expert the causes of bad breath and the solution to bad breath, click here for some excellent information and articles on the subject.

His success rate of treating and curing a wide range of bad breath issues is very impressive. His customers' very positive and impressive testimonials speak volumes.


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