Halitosis (Bad Breath) – Causes and Tips
Halitosis is a condition in which a foul odor comes from a person’s mouth. In simple terms, bad breath, and there can be several causes. In any case, you need to cure it if you have it, not only to save you from embarrassment, but also to protect your body against a potential health issue that may for now be manifesting halitosis.
As much to 90% of bad breath bacteria can be found on the tongue. Particularly, these germs may be all over those tiny papillae, thus causing halitosis. Spend a minute looking at your tongue in the mirror. If you see some kind of coating, then you likely have bad breath. When brushing their teeth, some people forget about their tongue, which requires regular cleaning too. A tongue scraper works better though (instead of a toothbrush) to get rid of the coating, which is practically a combination of food bits, bacteria and dead cells.
The bad odor from the mouth may also begin in the throat. One example of a halitosis-causing throat condition is tonsillitis – infected tonsils plus tonsil stones means bad breath. Respiratory tract infections of any kind can cause this condition too, such as pneumonia, chronic sinus infections and even chronic acid reflux, to name a few.
Halitosis can also originate in the GI system. In gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach acids, which are usually accompanied by undigested food and bile, flow back up into the esophagus and cause halitosis. Vomiting that causes dehydration also leads to bad breath because of mouth dryness. Saliva keeps the mouth moist and helps remove bacteria and food particles.
Dental health problems such as cavities and gum disease can also cause halitosis. So if you’re dealing with any of those issues, you should have it taken care of by your dentist before it gives you bad breath, if it hasn’t already. Yes, it could be a dental problem, or it could be totally unrelated to dentistry. If your dentist thinks it’s beyond dentistry, they will give you advice as necessary.
Tips for Fighting Bad Breath
– Drink a lot of water everyday (a dry mouth breeds bad breath). – Take off and clean your dentures thoroughly before going to sleep. – Brush your teeth twice daily, and floss everyday as well. – Visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. – Steer clear of tobacco products and odor-causing foods (raw garlic and onions, for example). – Eat more cloves, aniseeds and fennel seeds, which all have antibacterial properties; and odor-neutralizing fresh herbs like basil and cilantro.