Halitosis is defined as “bad breath.” It can be occasional or chronic and can be the consequence of the following causes:
– formation of sulfur compounds, resulting from the degradation of food debris in the oral cavity;
– dehydration of the oral mucosa and the formation of dead cells (dry mouth / saliva deficiency);
– gastric stasis, impaired digestive tract tightness, overinfected digestive tumors (stenosis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastric cancer);
– infections with anaerobic germs (lung abscesses);
– formation of ketone bodies (sour apple smell) in diabetic ketoacidosis;
– elimination of sulfur compounds by respiration (eg dimethyl sulfite) in patients diagnosed with hepatic impairment;
– elimination of ammonium (ammonia halena), in patients diagnosed with renal failure.
There are a number of causes, including low saliva and bacterial imbalance in the oro-nasopharyngeal cavity. Saliva has a cleansing action, which helps reduce and eliminate bad breath, eliminating bacteria. Bad breath caused by decreased saliva may be especially noticeable in the following situations:
– In the morning. The circulation of saliva is almost non-existent in sleep, which means that its absence allows the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath.
– When you are hungry, eat too little or are on a diet. Chewing food increases the amount of saliva in the mouth.
– When you are dehydrated and, implicitly, produce less saliva.
– When taking certain medications.
– When you drink alcohol.
Other causes of bad breath include:
– Consumption of foods with strong odors;
– Accumulations of bacteria or dental plaque in the oral cavity, caused by food trapped between the teeth, in dentures or in other dental applications.
Mouth and throat problems that can cause halitosis:
– Mouth or throat infections;
– Tooth problems, such as cavities;
– Gum disorders;
– Tonsils with large tunnels, which capture food particles;
– Throat cancer.
Problems in other areas of the body that can cause halitosis:
– Infections of the sinuses, nasal polyps or the existence of a foreign object in the nose;
– Diabetes – a symptom of high blood sugar is a strong, fruity breath;
– Digestive problems – such as gastroesophageal reflux -, bowel problems or cancer.
– Liver problems;
– Lung problems – infections or cancers.