Infection of the nose, trachea, or lungs, allergies and runny nose can all be potential causes of bad breath, also known as halitosis. These conditions can clog the nose and force you to breathe through your mouth, leading to dryness and the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath. Metabolic disorders such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and liver disease can also cause bad breath. Certain genetic disorders, such as TMA and hypermethioninemia, can also be the culprits.
The main symptom of halitosis is a bad smell from the mouth that is considered to be beyond a socially acceptable level. In up to 90% of cases, the cause is oral in origin and involves poor dental hygiene, leading to gum disease. Poor oral hygiene can also cause other oral health conditions, such as tooth decay and gum disease, which are associated with bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, a salivary gland disorder, or by always breathing through the mouth instead of through the nose.
A diet high in sugar can also cause bad breath due to the way that sugars interact with existing bacteria in the mouth. It's difficult to assess how your own breath smells, so it's important to ask a close friend or family member to confirm your questions about bad breath. Using a preprogrammed electronic nose, which detects different profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath, researchers from the University of Latvia examined breath samples from 475 subjects. This included 252 patients with lung cancer, 223 patients with different lung conditions and healthy volunteers, 265 smokers and 210 non-smokers.Bad breath is a very common and treatable condition in many adults.
If you think you may have bad breath, it's important to speak with your doctor or dentist to determine the underlying cause and find an appropriate treatment plan.