What Causes Bad Breath?

This invisible enemy can take a toll on your personal and professional life. To fight it – you must understand it, learn what causes bad breath and how to get rid of bad breath.

There’s nothing worse than bad breath. Having bad breath can be an immediate turn-off in social situations. Simply worrying that your breath stinks can also be a serious problem. One study showed that the fear of having bad breath appears linked to social anxiety disorder.

Even if you don’t suffer from extreme social anxiety, worrying that others will notice your bad breath can be a real problem. The paranoia and stress you feel could hold you back from forming relationships, advancing your career, or drawing positive attention to yourself.

In some cases, a piece of mint gum is enough to mask oral odor. But that’s only a temporary solution that doesn’t address the underlying cause of bad breath. In order to enjoy fresh breath and peace of mind, you need to first identify the cause and cures of bad breath.

Halitosis: The Medical Term for Bad Breath

Halitosis is a well-known medical term for bad breath. Are you concerned that your breath odor is polluting your local environment? That means you’re ready to take action to treat your halitosis at its source. How do you know if you have bad breath and how to prevent from bad breath? Here are a few ways you can find out.

Pay attention to others’ behavior when you talk

Do the people you engage in conversation seem to slowly back away from you? Are they often turning their head to the side or moving their hand close to their face as if waving away bad-smelling air? Do they have a hard time looking you in the eye? Does everyone seem inclined to keep a distance from you during conversation?

It could be that your halitosis is driving them away. You may need to take the next step to confirm your suspicions.

Ask an honest friend about your breath

Approach someone who you can trust to tell you the truth. Ask them if you have a reputation for exhaling fumes that repel everyone around you. It could be that others are just too embarrassed to tell you your breath stinks unless you ask them.

It could be that your halitosis is driving them away. You may need to take the next step to confirm you suspicions.

Select a willing volunteer

Does your friend insist that your bad breath isn’t a problem? While others may not notice the odor, you are aware of a foul taste in your mouth. Ask your friend or a family member if they’re willing to take a sniff of your breath and let you know how bad it is.

It could be that your halitosis is driving them away. You may need to take the next step to confirm you suspicions.

Do your own sniff test

Scrape the top of your tongue with a spoon and sniff the debris that comes off on the spoon. You can also exhale deeply into your own cupped clean hand and inhale in that area.

These are a couple of ways that can give you an idea of what your own breath smells like.

Talk with a medical professional

At your next dental visit or doctor’s checkup ask a medical professional about their observations of your breath. A professional will rapidly pinpoint what are the causes of bad breath.

It could be that your halitosis is driving them away. You may need to take the next step to confirm you suspicions.

What Causes Halitosis?

Did you know that halitosis is the third most common reason that people see the dentist? Additionally, an estimated 1 in 4 people suffer from chronic bad breath. Broken tooth causes halitosis or bad breath.

What is behind this bad breath epidemic?

Halitosis has a variety of causes and some of them, although rare, can be quite serious. That’s why it’s important to visit your doctor and dentist to make sure that your halitosis isn’t caused by a dangerous underlying condition. Some causes of bad breath can include:

  • Digestive problems like indigestion, food intolerance, or acid reflux
  • Respiratory issues
  • Sinus infection
  • Medications
  • Diet
  • Dry mouth or dehydration causes bad breath
  • Oral infections including tooth decay and gum disease
  • Tonsil infections

While there can be many different factors behind a case of bad breath, the most common causes originate right in the mouth. An estimated 90% of bad breath causes come from the mouth itself.

Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs)

Poor oral hygiene leads to food debris and bacterial buildup on the tongue. These germs produce gases that are called volatile sulfur compounds, or VSCs, for short VSCs are what make your breath smelly. Leaving these VSC-producing plaque bacteria in your mouth is one major cause of bad breath.

Tonsil Stones and Bad Breath

Tonsil stones are soft calcifications of germs and food that collect in the pits or folds around tonsils. They form quickly, usually within a few days’ time. Some people develop tonsil stones more often than others or have unusually large tonsil stones.
Tonsil stones often appear after a cold or some other upper respiratory infection. When you’re sick, your body produces extra white blood cells. These blood cells mix with mucus and minerals in your saliva to create tonsil stones.

Tonsil Stones Stinks

What’s the connection between tonsil stones and halitosis?

One study that analyzed 49 people with bad breath revealed that 75% of them had tonsil stones.
This data supports the idea that tonsil stones are a major contributor to halitosis.
Tonsil stones contain VSC-producing bacteria. This means that they can give off a powerful odor that makes breath stink. If you suffer from tonsil stones, then you may be releasing their foul scent with every breath you exhale. The odor can be so overwhelming that the stones may affect your sense of taste, as well.

Who Can Get Tonsil Stones?

Anyone of any age can get tonsil stones. This means that many people can have bad breath due to tonsil stones. Stones typically afflict people with cryptic tonsils, that is, tonsils that have lots of fleshy pockets or pits where debris can collect. Do you think you have tonsil stones? Just try our Tonsil Stone Removal Kit!

How do you know if you have tonsil stones?

Signs of tonsil stones include:

  • Bad taste in your throat
  • Pale coating on your tongue
  • Coughing up white or yellow chunks
  • You can see pale-colored lumps on the back or sides of your throat when you open your mouth, stick out your tongue, and look in a mirror
  • Constant bad breath
what are tonsil stones

Dr. Harold Katz told the New York Times that he suspects more people are getting tonsil stones these days for a couple of reasons. First of all, as tonsillectomies decrease in popularity, more people are getting tonsil stones because more people still have their tonsils. Secondly, increased prescription medication use has led to more cases of dry mouth that promote the growth of smelly bacteria. As a result, more people today can blame tonsil stones for their bad breath.

Tonsil Coating and Bad Breath

Studies demonstrate a correlation between having a coated tongue and suffering from halitosis. Tongue coating is when smelly bacteria colonize the surface of your tongue and make it look pale in color. The bacteria exude volatile sulfur compounds causes bad breath.

A coated tongue, or white tongue, is caused by poor oral hygiene. If the bacteria on your tongue aren’t removed, they’ll proliferate and release smelly sulfuric gases. Properly and regularly cleaning your tongue can help you have better breath.

Cleaning Your Tongue and Tonsils — A Halitosis Cure?

The most likely cause of your bad breath is the bacteria that collect on your tongue and tonsils as a result of poor oral hygiene. Fortunately, this halitosis cause is an easy one to remedy.
Maintaining a good routine of oral hygiene is key to keeping your tonsils clean. You should brush and floss daily to prevent plaque from growing on your teeth and gums. When it comes to getting fresher breath, scraping your tongue is especially important. Daily tongue scraping gets rid of the bacteria that coat your tongue and travel to your tonsils where they cause bad breath.

You can also prevent and remove tonsil stones on your own to keep your breath smelling fresh by keeping your mouth hydrated. It’s dangerous to poke around at your tonsils with just any object you have laying around at home.

But safe DIY tonsil care is possible with the right tools that have been designed for the job.
Do you suffer from bad breath? It’s time to put an end to your anxiety and embarrassment. Do more than just cover up the odor with a piece of candy or chewing gum. Treat the main cause of halitosis itself by maintaining a clean tongue and tonsils.