The bad breath, or halitosis as it is known in the medical language, is the unpleasant smell of your mouth. In addition to the social issues it generates, the halitosis should worry you because it could signal some internal organs disorders. On the other hand, bad breath may also be caused by poor oral hygiene, some food, or an unhealthy lifestyle.
Bad breath: Causes
Foods causing bad breath.
All the foods you eat begin to decompose into the mouth. As the food begins to be digested, the nutrients are absorbed into the blood, reach the lungs level, and in this way they influence the breathing, giving it a more or less strident note. If you eat strong odor foods, such as garlic or onion, you will only be able to temporarily mask the smell by brushing your teeth or using mouthwash. The smell will not completely disappear when the foods until they have been completely removed from the body.
Unhealthy habits causing bad breath.
If you do not wash your teeth daily and do not use dental floss for removing the food debris from the hard-to-reach areas, this debris ferment, favoring the appearance and multiplication of bacteria. Between the teeth, around the gums, on the tongue, or on the walls of the oral cavity, the bacteria form true colonies because of the proper environment for their multiplication. Eventually, breathing begins to get a bad smell.
Also, smoking can lead to halitosis, reducing the sense of taste and irritating the gum tissues.
Disorders and diseases can cause bad breath.
The halitosis and the unpleasant taste in the mouth could be the result of a gingivitis. Gingivitis is most often caused by tartar and, implicitly, by the toxins that clog under the gum, irritating it.
Also, poor quality dental devices that cause lesions, Candida albicans infection, or dental infections can cause halitosis.
Xerostomia, also known as ‘dry mouth’, can also cause bad breath. The saliva cleanses the oral cavity, neutralizing the acids produced by the tartar, eliminating the dead cells accumulated on the surface of the tongue, gums, or on the inner walls of the oral cavity.
When the level of saliva decreases, the cleaning process diminishes, and the dead cells begin to decompose causing the bad breath.
Xerostomia can occur as a result of medication, salivary gland problems, or the habit of breathing on the mouth.
Halitosis can also be caused by respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, diabetes, chronic gastric reflux, and liver or kidney diseases.
Bad breath: Prevention
Exemplary oral hygiene is the best way to prevent halitosis. Wash your teeth after each meal to remove the plaque and the food debris and use dental floss for narrow spaces, in where the brush is not effective.
To ensure your teeth an exemplary cleanup level, make sure you always have a toothbrush on you. Do not forget the tongue because it also needs to be cleaned from bacteria and food debris.
Schedule a visit to your dentist at least once every six months for a preventive control, professional brushing, and scraping. The dentist is also able to detect possible conditions such as xerostomia, gingivitis, periodontitis, and others, which may eventually cause bad breath.
Drink plenty of water to maintain a high level of hydration in the mouth. Chewing gum or sugar-free candy also stimulates the production of saliva which cleans from the food debris.
Be careful on what you eat. If you suspect that certain foods may be guilty of giving a bad breath, avoid them. The same is true for the medication you are taking.
Bad breath: Treatment
In most cases, it is the dentist who can treat this problem. If he establishes that there are no causes for the bad breath in the oral cavity and that the halitosis is of another nature, you should consult your family’s physician or a specialist to determine the exact cause of the bad breath.
Although it is ideal to consult your doctor, you can also resort to natural solutions as a first-aid measure:
- Parsley is known for its antibacterial and properties that offer a fresh breath but it is not a long-term solution
- Pistachios also have antiseptic properties and may decrease the acidity of the oral cavity, leading to an improvement
- Sodium bicarbonate also fights with the acidity in the mouth, it is slightly antiseptic and can reduce the unpleasant smell for up to three hours.
Bad breath is an unpleasant problem for everyone and has a huge social impact. Getting rid of this socially unpleasant issue can be done quickly by following an exemplary oral hygiene by using proper toothbrushes, dental floss, and mouthwash, opting for natural remedies, or by visiting your dentist. Also, don’t forget that some short-term measures can be taken, such as chewing gum, menthol candies, or mouth sprays.
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