What causes halitosis? Many different factors can pitch in, says an article lately published in the Journal of Dentistry. How many effective ways are there to diagnose the condition? While chemists have invented a number of useful tools for this purpose, the best method may still be a sniff from a human nose.
The authors, a team of Dutch ear, nose and throat experts from the Erasmus University Medical Center, stated that up to 90 percent of all bad breath originates in the mouth. They reviewed the potential causes of oral odor, and came up with a lengthy list.
Halitosis can come from any combination of coated tongue, periodontal disease, infections around dental implants, cavities, rotting teeth, ulcers of or injuries to the gum tissue, food particles, poorly done dental work, dirty dentures, xerostomia, a dry palate and sleeping with one's mouth open, the group said.
They noted that while halimeters and gas chromatography is useful when oral health clinicians need precise measurements of the foul-smelling compounds in a patient's mouth, diagnostically they do not beat simply smelling a person's breath.
If you have bad breath, using a specialty breath freshener and brushing more often may reduce your level of oral odor.