Bad Breath - Four Main Causes
1. Bacterial Imbalance Causes Bad Breath
The imbalance is usually due to lifestyle choices we make every day. This imbalance usually favours anaerobic bacteria. These are bacteria that live without oxygen but rather use iron as an energy source. They get this iron by breaking down mouth tissue causing bleeding, and then removing the iron from the blood. The waste products anaerobic bacteria release are called Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSC). It is these VSCs that are the smells of bad breath. The three main compounds are hydrogen sulphide, methyl mercaptan and dimethyl sulphide.
The main job of anaerobic bacteria is to break down proteins for energy. Some of these bacteria are normal and some can be pathogens that cause gum disease. These bacteria like to hide under the gums where they can break down gingival tissue and release blood. They also like to aggregate at the back of the tongue right at the gag reflex. Anaerobic bacteria are much more hardy than their aerobic cousins and are therefore harder to remove from the mouth. They will form into colonies within 12 hours of being in the mouth. Once in a colony they have a mechanism that protects them from disinfectant mouthwash and antibiotics. This is why normal toothpastes and mouthwash can not successfully treat bad breath. However if you use non-foaming gels as your cleaner, this enables you to access hard to reach places that normal toothpaste will not go. Also using mild alkaline mouthwash enables you to clean under the gums.