Bad breath is not just caused by oral hygiene Bad breath is not just caused by oral hygiene

Bad breath is not just caused by oral hygiene

For your smile 4 June, 2017 Isabel Vallejo


Halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath, can have seven different causes that are not necessarily related to the stomach or to a lack of oral hygiene.

To find its true cause, and therefore proper treatment, El Instituto del Aliento (The Breath Institute) suggests people treat this condition as a medical problem. It is estimated that, regardless of gender, age or social class, more than 25% of the population may suffer from consistent bad breath and that half of the population has had some concern about the condition of their breath at some point. Related article, Dental floss, an ally to the health of your mouth (article in Spanish).

A report published by this institute confirmed that while 60% of the causes of halitosis originate from the mouth, approximately 17% do not, and are associated with the respiratory system, digestive tract or are of a general systemic origin. Diagnosing these other causes is complicated as it requires other physicians being involved. Patients are therefore recommended to always see someone that specializes in halitosis.

To have a better diagnosis, answer the following questions. If more than eight of your answers correspond to “always or frequently,” you should see a specialist.

  1. Do you ever notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. Is your mouth often dry?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. Do your gums bleed?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. Do you notice a white and/or yellowish coating on your tongue?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. Do you have white or yellow bumps on your throat that have a bad smell?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. Is your nose often plugged?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. Do you breathe through your mouth at night?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. Do you often season your foods with a lot of spices, garlic and onion?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. Do you experience regurgitation that comes from your stomach?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. Do you eat four times a day?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. When you talk with others, do you notice that they cover their mouths with their hands or step away from you?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently
  1. Have you been told that you have bad breath?
  •       Never or rarely
  •       Sometimes or occasionally
  •       Always or frequently