There is nothing worse for a non-smoker than the stench of a smoker’s breath. In fact non-smokers have described the smoker’s breath as smelling like an ashtray. And smokers know how stinky an ashtray can smell. So what is it in cigarettes that causes this foul smell to occur? Researchers say that there are in fact several reasons why smoking causes halitosis.
Firstly, smoking leaves behind smoke particles in the throat and lungs. This applies for any smoke that you inhale and roll around in your mouth. The fascinating thing here is that the smoke can linger in the lungs for hours at a time, causing the stale breath that you breathe out.
And that’s just the beginning. The chemicals found in cigarettes remain in the mouth and leads to a variety of secondary causes of bad breath.
There have been numerous studies conducted over the years to try and determine exactly what it is in a cigarette that causes the bad breath. One study conducted in 1968 found that tobacco smoke contains more than 60 different aromatic hydrocarbons, of which most were found to be carcinogenic (cancer causing) and in addition to conveying a fragrance.
More recent studies focused mainly on which compounds are found in the saliva after smoking only half of a cigar. What was found in the saliva were ethyl pyrrole, 2,3-dimethyl pyrazine and 2 ethyl pyridine which are the most overpowering chemicals found in “cigar breath”.
Smoking also causes chronic bad breath because it dries out the mouth. This happens because when you constantly inhale the hot gasses, it parches the tongue and the gums, thus leaving a dry chemical-filmed environment for the anaerobic bacteria to thrive in.
In addition to tobacco filled cigarettes, the e-cigarette (better known as nicotine vaporisers), leave your mouth smelling no better. This is because the liquid used is a nicotine solution.
Studies have shown that all types of nicotine harm the mouth, gums and the tongue. If you do not take care to brush, floss and rinse your mouth regularly, your teeth, over time, become coated with a thick layer of tartar, increasing the risk of gingivitis and/or periodontal disease, and the smell emitting from ones mouth then is foul to say the least.