Have you ever noticed that bad breath varies in its smell? Your boyfriend's odor is different than your mother's, and your mother's is different still from yours. You would think that, if this is such a common problem with so many people, the smell would be the same. If we all share the same anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that live in the mouths of every human), why do we have different smells, and what do they mean?
There are as many different smells of bad breath as there are reasons for bad breath. Specific bacteria called eubacterium, porphyromonas gingivalis, porphyromonas endodontalis, prevotella intermedia, tannerella forsythensis, and treponema denticola are the main culprits of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria digest proteins and amino acids that break down into different compounds. These compounds lead to different smells, such as those of feces, rotten eggs, cabbage, sulfur, gasoline, mothballs, corpses, urine, decaying flesh, sweat, rancid cheese, and off-milk. Different compounds will give off different smells.
There are many reasons for bad breath. Bowel obstruction, bronchitis, cancer, hepatitis, and other diseases and medical problems can be the cause. Sometimes, a doctor can get a clue as to what medical condition you may have just by smelling your breath. For example, someone with chronic kidney problems may breathe an ammonia-like odor. Someone with diabetes may have a fruity smell due to their body's way of getting rid of acetone through breathing. A person whose breath smells like feces may have a vomiting problem.
There may be a much simpler reason for the odorous smell. Smells can come from a nasal problem, such as post nasal drip or sinusitis. Poor dental hygiene will cause many bad odors. Certain odor-causing foods that you have eaten or eat on a regular basis may be causing the problem.
Depending upon the reason for the bad breath, there are different solutions. If the reason is as simple as hygiene, then the solution is equally simple: Take better care of your mouth. Brush at least twice a day. If possible, do it three times a day. Floss at least once. Use an alcohol free mouthwash daily.
If the reason is the foods you are eating, then avoid those foods. Foods such as onions, garlic, alcohol, sugars and dairy products are prime culprits. These foods increase the sulfur production, because they stimulate the bacteria in your mouth.
If the reasons are related to anything else that may be a medical condition, seek a physician's help and expertise. They may be able to resolve the issue through medication or surgery. The answer may just be in changing your eating habits. Most diseases hinge upon the way we eat.
The anaerobic bacteria that live in our mouths are very important. If we have too few, we will develop an overgrowth of candida. This increase of candida will give us a yeast infection of the mouth. So there needs to be a balance of Anaerobic and Candida in the mouth.