Bad breath is defined as the subjective perception after smelling someone's breath. Breath malodor is a considerable social problem and affects almost every individual of any age. There seems to be no gender predominance and age can range from 5 to 80 years.
Imagery breath odor or halitophobia is associated with self false belief of halitosis.
What causes bad breath ?
Bad breath has two main sources: Intraoral (Inside mouth) & Extraoral (Outside mouth)
Intraoral causes can be from the teeth, periodontal infections, dry mouth or coatings on the tongue itself.Teeth
Possible causes within teeth are deep cavity with food entrapment and decompostion, recent extraction with a blood clot. Interdental food impaction in large interdental areas and crowded teeth. Acrylic dentures if regularly worn at night and not cleaned properly may also lead to bad breath and other symptoms.Periodontal infections
Gingivitis and periodontistis with pockets (abnormal gap between gums and teeth) accumulate gram negative bacteria which are a major source of halitosis. Other such problems could be pericoronitis (gum tissue over last molar) which harbour such bacteria and food particles leading to bad odor.
It has also been found that infected ulcers are also repsonsible for causing bad odor from the mouth.
Extraoral causes may be ENT problems, bronchi & lungs, stomach problem, liver dysfunction, kidney problem, diabetes, hormonal imbalance and certain types of medications.
Remember, good blood glucose control can help prevent mouth problems.