Ihave bad breath, even though I don’t smoke and I carefully brush my teeth and floss. Could the odour stem from some problem inside my body? Kamalesh Nayak, Rajkot
Bad breath or halitosis is the unpleasant smell that is emitted from your mouth due to various causes. The most common is due to food trapped between your teeth, on the tongue and around the gums which can rot leaving a bad smell. Food like garlic and onions can contribute to a fetid odour. People on a low carbohydrate diet can also develop bad breath due to excretion of ketones, one of the metabolic byproducts of digestion. Xerostomis or dry mouth caused due to the lack of adequate saliva due to various medications or salivary gland problems may give rise to foul breath. Tobacco or smoking is a major contributor to bad breath. Systemic medical problems like infections in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, and liver or kidney ailment can cause breath odour. Keep the mouth moist by drinking water and chewing sugarless gum or sugar-free hard sweets to stimulate the production of saliva. Mouthwash may temporarily mask bad breath odours, but it may not treat the underlying cause. Natural remedies to treat bad breath include chewing on mint or parsley. If bad breath is due to a health problem, then the underlying medical issue needs to be treated.