Bad breath (also called as Halitosis) is caused primarily by volatile sulfur compounds, specifically hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan, which result from degradation of sulfur containing proteins.
The foul smell may have its origin within the mouth or might be caused by certain extra oral factors. Contributing factors within the mouth include retention of odoriferous food particles on and between the teeth and or tongue, artificial dentures, smoker’s breath and healing surgical or extraction wounds. Any disease of gums or tooth decay may also cause an unpleasant mouth odor from accumulated debris. Extra oral sources of mouth include infections of the respiratory tract (bronchitis, pneumonia etc.) and odors secreted in breath from aromatic substances in bloodstream (alcoholic breath, odor of diabetes and uremic breath that accompanies kidney dysfunction.
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