What everyday smells bother you

The bad breath after consuming certain foods and beverages such as garlic, onions or cigarettes has probably worried everyone at one point or another. Fortunately, most people forgive him. Chronic bad breath, on the other hand, is a very unpleasant matter for those affected and those around them.

Around every fourth adult in Germany suffers from bad breath. However, many are not even aware of this. Because bad breath is generally considered a taboo subject. Therefore, it is often avoided to alert people to bad breath. This is a shame, because the cause of the bad breath can usually be identified and treated quickly. However, bad-smelling exhaled air can also indicate a serious illness.

Here you will find out everything you should know about the development, causes and treatment options for bad breath. This article clarifies that

  • Inadequate oral hygiene and tooth and gum problems are the most common causes of foul smelling air.
  • You can self-test using a simple saliva test, a plastic bag, or your wrist.
  • If you have bad breath, your dentist should be the first port of call in order to be able to treat any diseases in the oral cavity.
  • Careful oral hygiene, a healthy diet and adequate drinking will prevent many causes of bad breath.

What causes bad breath?

Doctors make a fundamental difference 2 forms of bad breath. The sulfur-like smell from the oral cavity is called Foetor ex ore and occurs most frequently with 90% of cases. The foci are in the oral cavity, in the nose or in the paranasal sinuses.

The so-called Halitosis is on the other hand rather rare. The exhaled air smells unpleasant both from the mouth area and from the nose. The cause lies in the deeper airways or the gastrointestinal tract.

Causes in the oral cavity, nose and throat: Foetor ex ore

The main cause of bad breath: poor oral hygiene and diseases of the oral cavity or the nasal and throat areas. The consequence is a Oral flora imbalance. It usually consists of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. The anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, nose and throat break down protein and dead cells. During these putrefaction processes, sulphurous metabolic products are formed. If the number of anaerobic bacteria is too high, the metabolic products produce the unpleasant smell of the breath from the oral cavity.

Common triggers for Foetor ex ore are z. B .:

  • Leftover food and bacterial deposits on the tongue
  • Inflamed gums and gum pockets
  • Dry mouth
  • Deposits in the interdental spaces
  • Inadequately cared for dentures
  • Tooth decay and inflamed tooth bed (periodontitis)
  • Conditions such as the common cold, sinusitis, and tonsillitis

Causes in the respiratory and digestive tract: Halitosis

Contrary to the prevailing opinion, bad breath occurs in only 10% of those affected Disorder outside of the mouth, nose and throat traced back. If there is an unpleasant odor emanating from both the oral cavity and the nose, doctors speak of Halitosis. It can be a sign of a serious illness. Diagnosis is easy with a professional breath test. However, the search for the specific cause is often a challenge for doctors.

Halitosis can e.g. B. be a symptom of:

  • Purulent bronchitis, pneumonia and similar diseases of the lungs
  • Disorders of the digestive tract such as inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis), intestinal obstruction or a foreign body in the esophagus
  • Metabolic disorders due to medication, kidney and liver damage and diabetes mellitus
  • Poisoning by phosphorus, arsenic, selenium or similar substances

This is how you can test bad breath yourself

Nobody likes to talk about the taboo subject. The disadvantage: Therefore, many sufferers have no idea of ‚Äč‚Äčtheir unpleasant breath. But bad breath can be a Signs of undiscovered diseases be. Therefore, you should definitely make sure you have any.

You can get bad breath with a simple one Self test determine. Here you learn 3 variants know. Before each test, make sure that you have not consumed any odor-causing foods: coffee, garlic, onions, fast food and cigarettes temporarily cause bad breath.

Determine bad breath with the saliva test

You will need a small glass or one for the test odorless can with lid. Put a few large drops of saliva in the jar and seal it for about 5 minutes. Then smell the saliva sample. The Saliva test clearly tells you if you have bad breath.

Check breathing air with the air bag test

Use one for this test odorless plastic bag, e.g. B. a freezer bag. Ventilate any room well. Later, it should offer an environment that is as odorless as possible. Now breathe into the plastic bag and then close the opening. In the previously ventilated space in front of your nose, open the bag in order to allow your Check breath for bad breath.

Bad breath test on the wrist

First, clean your wrist thoroughly with water. Do not use soap because the odor would falsify the test. Then lick the entire width of your Tongue over wet wrist. Now let the skin dry for about 30 seconds. The smell of your wrist gives you information about possible bad breath.

Have the dentist diagnose bad breath

If the self-test gives you clues about bad breath, you should have your suspicions clarified by a doctor. The main cause of bad breath is in the oral cavity (foetor ex ore). It is therefore best to go to the dentist first. He examines your oral cavity for the typical foci on teeth, tongue and gums.

Possible causes of bad breath in the mouth:

  • Carious teeth
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Protruding edges of crowns and fillings
  • Loose bridges
  • Unkempt dentures

Anaerobic bacteria like to settle in these places. They do not need oxygen and multiply there quickly. The dentist usually finds the foci quickly and can start the dental treatment immediately.

Diagnosis of halitosis

If the dentist can't find anything, the cause of your bad breath may be in the deeper airways or in the gastrointestinal tract. Then a professional gas analysis by your family doctor is recommended. With the help of the so-called Halimeter, he leads one Gas chromatography of the air you breathe by. This professional breath test provides information about a possible halitosis. The doctor uses various measurements to get to the bottom of the origin of the bad breath.

A positive test of the exhaled air from the nose, for example, indicates a disease of the paranasal sinuses. If the device signals bad breath from the mouth and nose, but not at the edge of the tongue, the problem areas are mostly to be found in the internal organs. Purulent or inflammatory diseases of the stomach or lungs are then the most common cause of halitosis. In addition, the "Note" of bad breath Tell me more about the disease.

For certain diseases typical mouth odors are z. B .:

  • Sour halitosis: stomach ailments
  • Putrid halitosis: tonsillitis
  • Ammonia-like odor: kidney disease
  • Acetone-like bad breath, comparable to nail polish remover: Diabetes mellitus

Once your family doctor has identified the source of the bad breath, he can initiate further investigations. So he comes to one accurate diagnosis of the underlying disease. Be sure to inform him about known diseases and about your medication. Because psychotropic drugs and antihypertensive drugs, for example, lead to increased Dry mouth: The low flow of saliva can disturb the oral flora and Cause bad breath. The same applies to poor oral hygiene. Also risky: snoring or colds. In both cases, people often sleep with their mouths open. As a result, the oral cavity dries out quickly and develops unpleasant smells.

Bad breath as odor hallucination

Neither your dentist nor your family doctor can detect bad breath? Then there is possibly a so-called Halitophobia or pseudo-halitosis in front. This phenomenon occurs very rarely, but it makes people even more insecure: those affected imagine they have bad breath. They are usually not convinced that outsiders and even doctors disagree. For them, bad breath is real and bothersome. Rare psychiatric or neurological diseases can trigger such a sensation of smell. A tumor in the brain can be the reason that those affected imagine a fecal odor when they exhale.

Can stress cause bad breath?

Bad breath can also be a sign of high emotional stress or stress: Chronic gastritis and a nervous stomach are typical symptoms of unhealthy constant stress. These can cause unpleasant odors.

Another connection between stress and bad breath: When excited, saliva production is inhibited. This unbalances the oral flora. In addition, nutrition often suffers when there is high stress in everyday life. Fast food promotes the growth of bacteria in the mouth when it is eaten in large quantities and too quickly. And regular and thorough dental hygiene may be more frequent due to stress.
Do you see a connection between your stressful everyday life and your bad breath? Then try to reduce stress through stress management and relaxation techniques. Eat a healthy diet. And take enough time to thoroughly clean your teeth, even in stressful situations.

Bad breath in children

Smelly breath can also affect children. Inflammation and infection of the lining of the mouth are the main cause of bad breath (foetor ex ore) in children. Therefore, pay particular attention to good dental care. Also, get the little ones used to drinking plenty of water or unsweetened tea at an early stage. Because if the mouth is too dry, inflammation and odor-causing bacteria can multiply better.

For small children, the Eruption of the milk teeth be to blame for the occasional unpleasant smell of breath. In preschool age the Change of teeth instead of. This is often accompanied by slight inflammation of the gums, which can also cause bad breath. In addition, the same foci as adults can be responsible for bad breath in children. Problems in the gastrointestinal tract are rarely the cause. More common causes of bad breath in children are conditions such as Angina and sinusitis.

Treat and prevent bad breath

The key is to find the causes of halitosis or foetor ex ore. After that, your dentist or family doctor can do the Tailor the treatment to you individually. Depending on the disease and the course of therapy, the bad breath often disappears after a short time. If you keep a few things in mind, bad breath can be treated or even prevented well.

Prevent diseases in the oral cavity

The main cause of bad breath is in the mouth. Therefore can be careful Oral and dental care usually prevent it from occurring. Existing disorders in the oral cavity heal better with it. In addition, thorough oral hygiene promotes a healthy balance of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. This includes:

  • Regularly brushing your teeth and cleaning the spaces between your teeth with dental floss
  • Professional teeth cleaning by the dentist to remove plaque and tartar
  • Cleansing the tongue with a soft toothbrush or tongue scraper
  • 2 to 3 liters of water or unsweetened tea daily for sufficient salivation
  • Daily cleaning of braces, dentures and implants

The situation is different with inflammations or after operations in the oral cavity. Then you can use a medicated mouthwash for a few days. It's best to talk to your dentist about it.

Which home remedies help against bad breath?

There are some proven ones Home remedies for bad breath. They prevent the anaerobic bacteria from multiplying in the mouth and thus fight bad breath. The following home remedies are particularly effective for bad breath:

  1. Black tea relieves bad breath
  2. Spices and herbs neutralize bad breath
  3. Olive oil inhibits the growth of bacteria
  4. Baking soda balances the pH
  5. Gargle with lemon juice or elderflower tea against bad breath

Black tea roughly contains polyphenols, which are a Prevent the bacteria from spreading. As a remedy for bad breath are also available Herbs as well as special Chewable tablets known on a plant basis. With that you can Freshen your breathwhile your doctor treats the cause of the bad breath. Alternatively, you can also chew fresh herbs like mint, parsley, and thyme after each meal. Chewing ginger, chamomile, or cloves is also an effective home remedy for bad breath.

Another popular home remedy for bad breath is olive oil. If you rinse your mouth with it, you inhibit the growth of bacteria and bind their odorous substances. To do this, rinse the mouth with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil for up to 20 minutes.

baking powder On the other hand, it gently removes the deposits on the tongue and also brings the pH value in the mouth back into a healthy balance. To do this, dissolve half a teaspoon of baking powder in a glass of water every day and use it to rinse your mouth in the morning and in the evening.

Another effective home remedy for bad breath is this Gargle with diluted lemon juice or elderflower tea. This stimulates the flow of saliva and inhibits bacterial growth.

The individual home remedies have different purposes. Therefore, a combination of different approaches promises the greatest success.

Treat bad breath as a symptom of internal illness

Halitosis occurs as Accompanying phenomenon from diseases of the internal organs such as the stomach and lungs. A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet are always beneficial. But you can only prevent such diseases to a limited extent. To still the Healing process to assist and reduce bad breath, you should Refrain from certain foods. Also, make sure you maintain careful oral hygiene. This makes for a fresher breath. And prevents bad smells from developing in the mouth.

The following foods and beverages temporarily cause bad breath or intensify it:

  • Garlic and onions
  • coffee
  • Highly protein-rich foods such as dairy products, meat and eggs
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Strongly flavored products like chips and fast food

You should avoid these foods and beverages if possible or only consume them to a limited extent in order to counteract bad breath.


Bad breath is not a disease, but rather a symptom. For example for an unkempt oral cavity, a disease of the oral cavity, the internal respiratory tract or the digestive tract. If left untreated, bad smelling breath is very unpleasant. Both for the person affected and for his fellow human beings.

The bigger problem, however, is that the diseases and disorders associated with bad breath can have a significant negative impact on health. You can therefore check whether you suffer from bad breath with a simple self-test. If so, ask your dentist for possible causes first. If this does not detect any problems in the oral cavity, a visit to the family doctor is recommended. Insidious diseases of the lungs or the gastrointestinal tract may otherwise go undetected for a long time. The smell and composition of the breath can provide information about the underlying disease. So don't be afraid to talk to your doctor about the subject of bad breath.

Informed and secure in every situation
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