Managing Your Bad Breath; Check The Causes & Solution

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Bad breath, also called halitosis is a medical condition characterized by an unpleasant odor of the mouth which can be embarrassing. It can occur on occasion, or it can be a long standing condition. Concern about halitosis is estimated to be the third most frequent reason for people to seek dental care, following tooth decay and gum disease; and about 20% of the general population are reported to suffer from it to some degree.

The causes of bad breath include

  1. Poor oral hygiene
  2. Diet
  3. Tobacco
  4. Dry mouth
  5. Medication
  6. Disease
  • Poor Oral Hygiene

When a person fails to brush or floss his or her teeth thoroughly food particles get lodged in-between the teeth and can rot over time, there by promoting bacterial growth and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease ultimately bad breath.

  • Diet

Food with strong odour affects the air a person exhale. Examples of such food are: onions, curry and fish. Low carbohydrate diet such as beans may also cause bad breath.

  • Tobacco Products

This cannot be over-emphasized as we hear about this everyday. Tobacco smoking gives us bad breath. Tobacco and or Tobacco products can stain teeth, irritate gum tissue and exacerbate tooth decay.

  • Dry mouth

It is also called xerostomia, saliva helps moisten and cleanse the mouth and when the body fails to produce enough saliva bad breath result. Early morning breath ‘Morning breath’ is very common due to the failure and or reduction in production of saliva during sleep.

  • Disease

Certain disease conditions might induce bad breath. Examples of sure diseases are: sore throat, thrush, diabetes, liver and kidney disease.

  • Medication

Certain medications can cause dry mouth thereby enhancing bad breath. It will go when you stop using the drug.

How do I eliminate bad breath?

  1. A good oral hygiene- brushing at least twice a day or after meals where possible with fluoride tooth paste. While brushing make sure the tongue is properly clean too.
  2. Replace toothbrush every 2-3 months
  3. Use dental floss regularly
  4. Remove dentures at night and clean them properly before replacing them back in the mouth.
  5. Stop smoking/ chewing tobacco based products
  6. Keep the mouth moist by drinking water, chewing sugarless gum or suck on sugar free hard candy to stimulate the production of saliva. Chewing of mint
  7. Avoid foods such as onions and garlic
  8. Use mouth wash regularly
  9. Regular dental visits

The prognosis of bad breath is generally good and can be treated on your own.

Stay healthy!!!

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