Halitosis, or bad breath, is a condition that can be embarrassing. Sometimes it can cause anxiety. Maybe this is why there are overflowing shelves of toothpaste, mouthwashes, mints and gum at the store. However, you must take note that many of these products are only temporary measures, because they do not address the real cause of the problem. To learn more about what causes halitosis and how to effectively treat it, keep reading!
What is Halitosis?
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As its name implies, bad breath is a condition of the mouth wherein it produces a foul or bad smell. This can spoil someon’es first impression of you, causing harm to public and professional interactions. Halitosis can be an indicator of some internal malfunction.
40 percent of the world suffers this condition. It may be temporary, like morning breath. Having bad breath in the morning is a just short term problem causes by eating foods rich in sulphide, spices, onions, garlic or other severe diets. Other causes include various drugs and medication or the mouth drying out overnight. Because this usually vanishes after you brush your teeth in the morning, this type of halitosis isn’t worth worrying about. The real concern is chronic halitosis.
Halitosis is actually the third most common reason people seek dental assistance. Anybody can suffer from this condition, and about 1 in 4 people suffer it on a regular basis.
Signs and Symptoms of Halitosis
The odor of the breath may vary depending on its cause. It’s hard to judge by yourself, so sometimes the best way is to ask a friend or relative to scale it for you. If that’s not an option, one way to check is to lick your wrist, let it dry and smell it. If it smells bad, then there is a big possibility that your breath does, too.
There are some people who are very concerned about their breath, even if it doesn’t smell bad at all. This fear is called halitophobia, and may cause the sufferer to excessively clean their mouth.
Causes of Halitosis
Below are some of the most common potential causes of bad breath:
- Diseases or infection
- Foreign bodies in the mouth
- Nose disorder
- Throat condition
- Drugs and medications
- Crash diets
- Dental hygiene
- Dry mouth
Some of the more rare causes of bad breathe include:
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Chronic kidney failure
- Bowel obstruction
Treatments for Halitosis
Here are some of the best treatments for bad breath:
- Diet: avoiding spicy foods, onions and garlic may help prevent bad breath, as will reducing the consumption of alcohol and coffee .
- Stay hydrated: drinking a lot of water may prevent your mouth from drying out. You can also do various things to stimulate saliva production, like sucking sweets and chewing gum.
- Brush your tongue: brushing your tongue while you’re brushing your teeth may help get rid of the bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. If you have a scraper, even better.
- Clean your dentures: cleaning your dentures helps prevent a build-up of bacteria in the mouth.
- Change your toothbrush: changing your toothbrush every 2-3 months is necessary for keeping your mouth clean.
- Floss: this helps reduce plaque and food particles that build up in the mouth. Take note, brushing cleans just 60 percent of the tooth’s surface.
- Brushing your teeth: we know that this is the simplest treatment for halitosis. Brushing your teeth 2 to 3 times a day is very helpful in getting rid of the condition.