Allo doctors: How to treat bad breath?

Author: Dr. Nhan Tam View: 116
Hi doctor. I've had bad breath since I was a kid. I am very shy when interacting with people, as well as customers. Doctor, can you help me? Thank you! (Nhi Nguyen - Binh Dinh)

Bad breath is a common condition that affects many people, both men and women. Bad breath is not serious but greatly affects the attitude, behavior, and psychology of communication, affecting the work of the patient.

Reasons for bad breath

1. Teeth - mouth

The odor is from sulfur-based volatile chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulfide. These sulfides are caused by proteolysis by oral microorganisms, in the following cases:

  • When the food left in the mouth or between the teeth is broken down by bacteria, it will create a bad smell.
  • Infections in the gums, roots, around the teeth...
  • A tooth with a lot of decay has an inert fracture of the tooth pulp or a cavity that is convenient for bacteria to hide, proliferate and cause disease.
  • Plaque that closes to the roots of teeth is a good environment for bacteria to enter and lead to bad breath.
  • Inflamed tongue and food on the surface of the tongue or tongue cracks are a good environment for bacteria to break down proteins that create odors.
  • Dry mouth when saliva is greatly reduced. Saliva is responsible for keeping the cheeks, tongue, lips, and gums moist. In saliva, some enzymes help digest food, reducing pH changes in the mouth. When oral acidity is high, bacteria proliferate more.

There are many causes of dry mouth: underactive salivary glands, paralysis of the facial nerve (7th nerve), mouth breathing due to nasal congestion or habit, in the elderly, in menopause, or medical conditions. general such as diabetes, neurological disease, after radiation therapy for cancer of the head, face, and neck...

Some drugs such as antihypertensives, sedatives, anti-allergic drugs, epilepsy, depression, schizophrenia, amphetamines, diuretics... also reduce the saliva in the mouth.

Smoking, especially strong smoked cigarettes such as cigars, pipes, pipes, also reduces saliva, leading to bad odors from the mouth.

2. Nose – sinus

Nasal and sinus diseases such as acute sinusitis and sinusitis due to teeth, especially sinusitis caused by teeth, cause bad breath, even causing discomfort to people around when approaching.

Tumors in the nasal cavity such as nasal polyps, cancer, papillomas also cause bad breath.

Nasal foreign body, especially in small children, causes bad breath or bad breath on one side.

Sebaceous gland inflammation of the nasal vestibule. This disease often causes a bad feeling when the patient blows his nose or raises his nose, causing the basal glands in the nasal passages or in the wings of the nose to open, causing a foul nose. Rarely people around can smell this bad smell. Sebaceous gland inflammation of the nasal vestibule. This disease often causes a bad feeling when the patient blows his nose or raises his nose, causing the basal glands in the nasal passages or in the wings of the nose to open, causing a foul nose. Rarely people around can smell this bad smell.

3. Throat - hypopharynx

  • Chronic granulomatous pharyngitis.
  • Unilateral or bilateral tonsillitis. Especially chronic purulent tonsillitis.
  • Throat cancer - hypopharynx.

4. Types of diseases

Diseases from the lungs, esophagus - stomach, liver, and gallbladder, intestinal tract such as inflammation, acid reflux, cancer also cause bad breath.

5. Eating out

Some oily foods cause bad breath such as garlic, onions, flavored vegetables, alcohol, and carbonated drinks. After these foods are absorbed, volatile essential oils are then released into the nose and mouth, and even sweat on the body.

6. Chronic diseases

Liver failure, kidney failure, diabetes, tuberculosis, AIDS cause a lot of bad breath.

7. Some people suffer from low self-esteem

Thinking that I have bad breath leads to a change in behavior and attitude when communicating (covering my mouth, turning my face away, chewing candy continuously, spraying medicine in my mouth...) making many people pay attention to my strange movements, even though they really don't have bad breath or have no body odor.

8. A very rare case

For example, fish odor syndrome emanates from the mouth and skin. Long-term starvation or lack of food also causes bad breath due to the smell of ketones because of an imbalance in the metabolism of substances such as fat and protein. Changes in hormones during ovulation and menstruation also cause bad breath in some women.

Ways to measure bad breath

Objective: The patient sits opposite the examiner, closes his nose, and breathes through his mouth for a few minutes. If there is a bad smell, the source is from the mouth. The patient then closes the mouth and exhales through the nose. If the odor is coming from both the mouth and the nose, it may be due to a general illness.

Subjective: The patient himself feels by placing his hand in his mouth, exhaling, and smelling the smell.

The patient or the examiner smells on the floss (dental floss) after brushing.

In some modern dental facilities and dental clinics, the concentration of bad breath in the mouth can be measured by Halimeter, Halitest is also applied.


Depending on the cause of bad breath, there will be appropriate treatment methods.

1. Oral causes

Need to pay a lot of attention to dental hygiene.

Brush your teeth after eating.

Take out all the food left in the mouth, between the teeth.

Dental floss (Dental Floss) to brush the teeth to clean the food stuck there.

Treatment of tooth decay, gingivitis, diseases in the mouth.

Keep your mouth moist by drinking water.

If the tongue is dirty, scrape the tongue but avoid causing injury to the tongue.

If wearing dentures need to be cleaned properly.

Visit the dentist regularly every 6 months to scrape tartar and check for oral diseases.

2. Treatment of ENT diseases such as rhinosinusitis, pharyngitis, tonsillectomy...

3. Treatment of gastrointestinal diseases

Treatment of gastrointestinal diseases such as stomach pain, hepatitis, colitis, and other diseases of the digestive tract...

4. Avoid foods that can cause bad breath in the mouth.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables; Limit meat and fat, and avoid strong-smelling cheeses. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, tobacco…

Mouth fresheners that contain peppermint or wintergreen oils only provide short-term relief of bad breath after use but do not eliminate it.

Mouthwash should be used in the evening when bacteria are most active. Mouthwashes with chemicals chlohexidine gluconate or chemicals cetylpyridinium chloride, benzethonium chloride, sodium bicarbonade, zinc chloride are all very good.

Bad breath is a disease with many physical causes. However, there are cases where the patient's subjective and amplified perception causes loneliness and isolation from others due to fear of communication. You need to visit medical facilities and experienced medical professionals to determine your medical condition.