Bad breath, or halitosis, remains one of society’s taboos and yet everyone can suffer from it at some time or another. It has been estimated that most adults will suffer from bad breath on occasion(1), while the NHS claims that 25% of us are thought to have persistent bad breath(2).
Many studies place bad breath as the third most frequent reason for seeking dental treatment, following tooth decay and gum disease, but despite how common bad breath is, a recent survey by UltraDEX found that only 4% of us are likely to tell someone if they had unpleasant breath. Nearly 80% of respondents knew poor oral hygiene was a factor, but many failed to recognise other common causes of halitosis.
Fortunately, if you’re concerned about your breath, there are a number of effective ways to get rid of halitosis.
What causes Bad Breath?
There are many potential causes of halitosis. Whilst not all of them arise from the mouth, it is believed that roughly 85% of persistent bad breath can be traced back to bacteria in the oral cavity.
There are many different strains of bacteria found in the human mouth, but the odour-causing strains all tend to have one thing in common. They feed and reproduce within the mouth, and in doing so they produce sulphurous compounds.
Known most-commonly as Volatile Sulphur Compounds or simply VSCs, it is these noxious gases which are mainly responsible for halitosis.
How to get rid of bad breath?
An effective solution for eliminating bad breath needs to address both the oral bacteria and the VSCs, once the other less-common risk factors have been ruled out.
Assuming no medical condition is responsible, a range of proven steps can be followed to help resolve the problem, find out more here.
Other key causes of bad breath and how to conquer them