If you think bad breath comes from the stomach, think again. In reality, the most common cause of bad breath is a build-up of bacteria in the mouth – in fact bad breath originates in the oral cavity almost nine times out of ten1. These bacteria are found in between the teeth, in the gum pockets and in the pits on the back of the tongue, and when they break down food particles in your mouth, they also release so called volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).
Smelly breath is not dangerous, but a foul-smelling mouth can be embarrassing and cause awkward situations in your professional and personal life. You may start to feel insecure and lose confidence any time you open your mouth around other people, for example in business meetings or on a date. Or, even worse, you may not realize that you have bad breath, and your friends and family are not comfortable telling you.
There are many causes of bad breath and apart from sulfur compounds formed in the mouth, other causes of bad breath are gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), periodontitis, dry mouth, low-carb diets and fasting. In addition, virtually everybody has bad breath in the morning because saliva flow decreases during the night. Bad breath can also be triggered by spicy food, garlic, smoking and alcohol.
Some of the most common causes of smelly breath originating in the mouth are:
Some of the most common lifestyle factors that cause smelly breath are:
Prevention of bad breath is in most cases easy, and starts with good oral hygiene. But simply brushing your teeth may not be enough. You should also use floss or an interdental brush to clean in between the teeth, and if you have bad breath you could use a mouthwash like CB12 as a complement. CB12 prevents bad breath by neutralizing the odorous sulfur compounds in your mouth, instead of just masking the smell. It contains both zinc acetate and chlorhexidine diacetate, which has been clinically proven to prevent bad breath for 12 hours after each use1.
1 Thrane PS, Young A, Jonski G, et al. A new mouth-rinse combining zinc and chlorhexidine in low concentrations provides superior efficacy against halitosis compared to existing formulations: a double blind clinical study. J Clin Dent 2007; 18(3):82-87.