You can’t smell it and almost no one will tell you about it. What contributes to the bad odour?
Microbial degradation of predominantly gram-negative anaerobic bacteria and the release of volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) (e.g. hydrogen sulphide, methyl mercaptan and dimethyl sulphide) account for the unpleasant odour.
1. Poor oral hygiene, dental plaque/caries and accumulation of food debris in uncleaned acrylic dentures
2. Gingivitis and periodontitis (positive correlation between pocket depth and the concentration of VSCs)
3. Dorsum of the tongue with its irregular surface collects desquamated epithelial cells and food remnants form a coating which is difficult to remove and results in degradation and malodour
4. Reduced salivary flow and production at night leads to increased malodour also, but will disappear once oral hygiene resumes upon waking (that’s why morning breath!)
5. Xerostomia often leads to an increased amount of plaque and tongue coating in afflicted patients