Causes of Bad Breath

According to Scientific American, bad breath is estimated to afflict about 25% of the U.S. population. Currently, that’s about 75 million people. The good news is that since most bad breath originates in the mouth, it is almost always curable, and can be maintained for life — whether mild, moderate or in extremely severe cases.

Chronic Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Research has shown that almost 95% of chronic bad breath, or halitosis is caused by the bacteria that live in the mouth.  These bacteria excrete volatile sulfur compounds (VSC’s) as their waste products and are the culprit of odorous bad breath.

These live bacteria hide in the biological film (biofilm) that is on the tongue and under the gums and are abundantly available.

What Biofilm is Made Of

  • the accumulation of dead skin and blood cells
  • live bacteria
  • debris
  • mucous
  • dead bacteria
  • proteins and other digestible bacterial matter

This biofilm is usually very thick because it builds up microscopic layer by layer over time. This biofilm actually adheres to the tongue and under the gums so that it cannot be removed by ordinary means. No breath product (even professional strength products) can successfully penetrate it. They can only neutralize the odor and bacteria in the very top layers which explains their need for continual reuse and their limited effectiveness over time.

If an individual has suffered from severe chronic bad breath for a long period of time, removing only the surface layer of biofilm will never permanently get rid of the odor. This is because the root problem of the odor is not being addressed. Instead, professional, manual removal of the biofilm is necessary to create a lasting solution.

Other Causes of Bad Breath

Occasionally there are medical causes of bad breath. These may include:

  • diabetes
  • uncontrolled acid reflux
  • sinus problems

However, even these have an oral component which is usually the biggest factor in bad breath.

Before starting any bad breath treatment, we encourage you to contact our Breath Counselor for a complimentary phone consultation. She will be able to answer your questions and help you understand the differences between bad breath treatment options.

Statistics about bad breath in the USA