What Is Halitosis and How It Affects You


Also known as chronic bad breath, halitosis is a condition where a person gives out an unattractive odour from the mouth. This is most commonly caused by the breakdown of bacteria in the mouth that produces sulfur compounds, emanating a repulsive smell.

Denture wearers get a little more vulnerability from halitosis. Just like natural teeth, tartar can build on the denture itself, thanks to the bits of food that may be stuck between the dentures and the roof of the mouth.

Whether you wear full dentures, partial dentures, or no denture at all, halitosis is a common problem. It is actually the third most common reason why people visit the dentist, and 25% of the world population actually suffer from chronic bad breath.

We’ve all had bad breath – from the morning breath as we wake up to the occasional exotic meal – but this is not exactly halitosis. It roots from a number of possible causes:

Dental Issues

This is the most common cause of halitosis, especially for people who wear dentures. Tooth cavities and pockets from gum diseases can be an infestation site of bacteria, especially when not cleaned properly and regularly. Plaque is formed when a film of bacteria builds up, and this can cause an inflammation between the teeth and gums. Plaque can also form between the dentures and the roof of the mouth.

Dry Mouth

Odours can build up when there is not enough saliva and fluids to wash out the unwanted leftovers and bacteria in the mouth. People with dentures also need saliva to naturally lubricate the fitting of the dentures; otherwise, there can be scratches within the gums that may be a start of a bacterial infestation.


Not only does tobacco smoking stain the teeth and dentures, but it can also dry out the mouth and help develop gum diseases. To top this off, tobacco products commonly have a distinctive smell that can be left on the breath of the smoker.

Drugs and Diet

Certain medications can produce odours as they break chemicals down, releasing them in the breath. People taking certain diets, such as intermittent fasting and low-carb diets, are also prone to halitosis due to the breakdown of ketones inside the body.

Other Medical Conditions

Mouth, throat, and nose infections and inflammations can cause halitosis. Halitosis can also be an effect of a more severe medical condition such as gastric reflux, diabetes, or liver and kidney diseases. In some rarer cases, bowel obstruction, aspiration pneumonia, and formation of mucus in the airways can also be a precursor to chronic bad breath.

Having halitosis can cause significant psychological distress for a person. Social interactions and self-esteem are often on the line, but it can also signal some underlying medical conditions. This is why knowing what you can do about it is important:

1. Follow a healthy dental hygiene routine. Brushing only cleans 25% of the mouth, so be sure to floss and gargle a mouthwash, if possible. An effective tongue-cleaning is also necessary. As a piece of advice, remember that the hardest to reach portions inside the mouth often smell the worst, and therefore needs more attention.

2. Hydrate properly. Drink plenty of fluids. Chewing a sugar-free gum can also help stimulate saliva production.

3. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, onions, garlic, spicy, and sugary foods. Avoid smoking. All of these not only dries the mouth out but also leaves an unpleasant odour.

4. If your halitosis is caused by a more serious medical condition, you need to pay a visit to your doctor or dietician to ensure that the root cause of this bad breath is addressed.

Halitosis may be common among the world population, but this is not an excuse to slack off on your dental hygiene. To learn more about dentures and halitosis, contact your local denture technician.



About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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