What causes bad breath ?
Bad breath can be observed early mornings, late afternoons/evenings or after you eat some specific food items.
Garlic, onions, coffee, etc. can cause bad smell from your mouth. They cause instant bad odour from the mouth just after eating. Drinking water, brushing or having a mint will make the mouth fresh again.
Early morning, the bad breath which is observed is caused by the bacteria which have been in your mouth for the entire night. The bad breath is more if you don’t brush at night. The bacteria digest the food and release chemicals which cause this bad smell.
Could my bad breath be only because of not brushing ?
Bad oral hygiene results in bad smell from your mouth. Improper and incorrect methods of brushing or skipping brushing or brushing only once a day, will result in accumulation of food particles between teeth where brush is unable to reach on a daily basis. This harbours millions of bacteria. These bacteria start to decompose the food and release substances which result in bad breath from the mouth.
A round of cleaning should be done. Once supra-gingival deposits are removed, the sub-gingival deposits should be evaluated and if required deep cleaning should be done. Once your oral hygiene is restored, you will experience fresh breath.
Another cause of bad breath could be increased acidity in the stomach. People who complain of acidic burps, heart burns, regular vomiting episodes etc. and
suffer from bad breath, should get a consult with a gastroenterologist after ruling out any dental cause.
What should I do if I am suffering from bad breath ?
If your bad breath is only after eating some specific foods then you should brush your teeth after your meal (i.e. after eating onions/garlic/egg/coffee etc.)
If you are suffering from bad breath which increases by the end of the day irrespective of the food you eat, then you should visit your dentist and rule out any dental problems. The dentist may advice a round of cleaning and evaluate your gums to check for any deep seated infection. Depending on the extent of infection, there may be associated pus formation and bone loss which might require a round of sub-gingival cleaning to make sure all such deposits are removed. Another dental reason for bad breath could be a decayed third molar which is attracting food lodgement and is infected. Accumulation of bacteria in the infected site could lead to pus formation which in turn can cause bad breath.
After ruling out all the dental issues, if the bad breath still persists, a consult with a gastroenterologist should be planned. Get a check-up for acidity issues and GERD, etc.