Battling Bad Breath: The Science Behind

bad breath

What you need to know

An estimated 65% of Americans, over 65 million people, suffer from this condition and at least 90 percent of all halitosis (bad breath) is of oral, not systemic origin.  Bad breath can be battled and cured.  All it takes is eating the right foods and practicing the right oral care.  The team here at Life Smiles is here to help you with that.


Nine times out of ten, bad breath is related to the condition of your mouth’s interior, specifically the type of bacteria that resides there.  Bacteria spends most of its time consuming foods and excreting wastes.  The wastes from some of those bacteria are sulfur compounds.  Sulfur compounds are what ignite the bad-breath brush fire.  The wastes that the bacteria in our mouth excrete and produce are truly some of the most unattractive smells.

Most of these compounds that cause bad breath are the waste products of anaerobic bacteria, which live under the gum without oxygen.  Our mouths experience an ongoing battle for dominance between anaerobic bacteria and aerobic bacteria.  It is the precise balance between these two types of bacteria that determines the quality of your breath.

A normal tongue is pink, textured, and slightly moist.  When you stick out your tongue, if you see a white coating – that is dead bacteria that creates an oxygen free zone underneath where the bad breath causing bacteria can thrive.  Under this white coating, within the deep papillae of the tongue, the volatile sulfa compounds, which create the offensive odor, are produced.


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