Learn about your teeth and gums and how to keep them healthy in "bite size" articles.This is going to make you Smile.. Healthy!!!

Bad Breath!!!

When people keep trying to stay away from you, especially when you talk, you know you have a problem with your breath!! Millions of people suffer from Halitosis (yeah .. thats the scientific word) but seldom seek help. There are also the other million who are convinced they suffer from it but dont.

What causes bad breath?? In the oral cavity , a host of bacteria survive. These bacteria produce sulphur compounds which produce the offensive odour when they become volatile.

Volatility is the property when solids vapourise. As long as the oral cavity is moist , saliva dissolves them and there is no offensive odour. This is the reason for halitosis in the morning .. Saliva secretion is less and the sulphur compounds are increased causing the offensive order. There is no need to worry about this, its normal.

Causes for which you should consult a dentist are,

When food accumulates within a cavity in the teeth.

When you have undergone an extraction and the site is infected. Usually there is severe pain along with a very foul odour.

Presence of tartar and plaque leads to an offensive odour.

When your tongue has a whitish coating. This is a result of food, dead cells and bacteria which combined produce a great substrate for the production of sulphur compounds. Hence the need for regular tongue cleaning.

Causes other than your oral cavity will include,

Throat infections and nasal infections often are associated with bad breath especially when they produce pus.

Contrary to public opinion, the problems in stomach contribute to only 1% of bad breath cases.

So if you suffer from bad breath, it would be wiser to go to your dentist to have a thorough check up.

Treatment options:

  • Thorough brushing and tongue cleaning
  • Chewing a sugar-free gum.
  • Mouth rinses, mouth sprays and lozenges.

If these dont work, your dentist can perform a thorough scaling procedure and suggest prescription mouthrinses that work better than the ones you can get in a pharmacy.

Cheers and do remember, a clean and a healthy mouth is what makes your smile sparkle and shine. Keep smiling.. Keep it Healthy!! :)


  1. hi vidhya!!
    i am meera and am a member in orkut iyers community...its really nice to see u posting something very useful to everyone.. [:)] thanks a lot!!
    btw i ve a doubt..
    u ve suggested one of the treatment options as chewing a sugar free gums..won't such gums harms or degrades the lysozyme enzyme produced in the saliva???lysozyme enzyme being one of the innate barrier present in the mouth to degrade the cell walls of the bacteria???

  2. Dear Meera, U r welcome! As far as i know, there are no harmful effects of the sugar free gums on saliva. On the contrary , they increase the salivary secretion and enhance the anti-bacterial activity. May i know where u have heard of a saliva - lysozyme interaction? I have not come across such an effect.

  3. hi vidhya,
    here is the link..actually i ve come across abt this in immunology..for your reference am posting the link..

  4. Dear Meera .. there is no doubt that lysozyme is protective.. im asking abt where is it said that chewing gum degrades lysozyme???

    As far as i know, it doestn