• Halitosis: Causes and Treatment of Bad Breath

    Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is brought about by bacterial accumulation in your mouth that causes infection and produces harmful odors like sulfur – a horrible smell. Bad breath is caused by different factors and these are:

    • Poor oral hygiene – Failure to brush and floss your teeth daily will leave food debris in your mouth that will serve as a breeding ground for bacteria that will cause infection and produce bad breath. Patients with dental appliance need to clean it because a dirty appliance will encourage bacterial build-up thus resulting to a stinky mouth.


    • Eating foods with strong odor – When the food is digested and absorbed in the bloodstream, it travels to different body organs such as the lungs. In the lungs, the smell of the food is given off in your breath. Foods with stinky odor like garlic and onions releases sulfur compounds when digested thus causing bad breath.


    • Oral diseases – Bad breath or halitosis is most common symptom present when a tooth decay or periodontal disease exists. Bacterial infection from both diseases gives off bad breath as a by-product of the bacterial accumulation.


    • Health problems – Systemic disease such as diabetes; respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis and chronic sinusitis; digestive disease such as acid reflux; hepatic disease such as late-stage liver failure; and kidney disease such as chronic kidney failure have bad breath as its one of the many symptoms of the disease.


    • Bad habits – Bad habits such smoking and tobacco use cause bad breath because of the stench left by the cigarette and tobacco in the mouth after use.


    periodonticsTo eliminate bad breath, first you have to know its underlying cause. Since bad breath is mostly a symptom, you have to manage the reason behind it. To treat bad breath, you should practice:

    • Good oral hygiene – Bad breath caused by poor oral hygiene is managed with good oral hygiene. Always brush your teeth after meals and floss at least once a day. It is very important to remove food debris left by eating to prevent bacterial accumulation which can lead to bad breath. Good oral hygiene also includes dental visit at least twice a year for teeth cleaning and dental examination. Fluoride treatment is also encouraged to prevent tooth decay that can cause bad breath.


    As you clean your teeth, you also need to clean and take care of your dental appliance to prevent growth of bacteria in the appliance and prevent bad breath

    • Avoid eating foods with strong odor – you should make a list of foods that causes your bad breath so that you will know what to avoid.


    • Treat oral diseases – Take the prescribed antibiotic to treat bacterial infection and undergo the prescribed dental treatment to manage tooth decay and periodontal diseases.


    • Ask the help of a specialist to manage bad breath due to different health diseases.


    • Stop smoking and tobacco use.


    Remember to always ask your dentist help in treating your bad breath. Together with him/her, explore its underlying causes. If the bad breath is due to health diseases, its early detection can help in the early treatment of the disease.

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