What is bad breath and what causes it?
Bad breath is defined as the air breathed in that people perceive as unpleasant. It arises due to the following 3 causes:
1. Consumer goods such as alcohol, nicotine, coffee or garlic can cause bad breath.
2. Eating habits, such as a high-protein diet, can also lead to bad breath.
3. The most common cause, however, is bad breath-causing bacteria in the oral cavity, which will be discussed in more detail below.
How does bacterial bad breath develop?
Bad breath occurs wherever bacteria can settle in plaque in the oral cavity.
These deposits form in particular:
- On tooth surfaces
- In the interdental spaces
- In gum pockets (see periodontitis)
- For erupting wisdom teeth
- On the tongue
- If caries is present
Within these deposits, the bacteria become active and excrete hydrogen sulphide. These substances are perceived by us humans as an unpleasant smell. Another cause can be gingivitis.
How can you tell if you have bad breath?
Basically, bad breath is very difficult for one to perceive. Therefore, it is helpful to ask someone you trust if you have an unpleasant smell coming from your mouth. There are also self-tests that you can use to identify bad breath.
- The back of the hand test
- The Glass Spit Test
- The air bag test
There are also dentists who specialize in bad breath. These dentists offer a "bad breath consultation" in their practice and use a special device that objectively measures the hydrogen sulfide content in the air you breathe. At http://www.halitose.de/praxen/praxen_main.html you will find a list of dentists in Germany who use such a device.
How can you treat and prevent bad breath?
When it comes to bad breath caused by bacteria, the answer is:
Bacterial deposits on the teeth, in the spaces between the teeth and on the tongue can only be destroyed through consistent, daily oral hygiene. In addition, regular tooth cleaning is crucial in order to have poorly cleaned areas of plaque removed professionally.
Odor-forming plaque also forms in the spaces between the teeth. Interdetal brushes are best suited for this area.
If periodontitis is present, periodontitis treatment is essential. If tooth decay is the cause of bad breath, a visit to the dentist is essential.