Bad Breath – Its Diagnosis and Treatment

Research shows that 90% of bad breath comes from foul smelling gases produced by bacteria on the surface of the tongue.

Bad breath or halitosis, is characterized by an offensive smell emanating from the mouth when you breathe or speak.

Halitosis is usually a sign of some deep health problem. It is recommended to consult a doctor or a dentist before solving the problem of your own. Major causes of bad breath that are not associated with some form of diseases which experts agree on the following:

a) Mouth bacteria – similar to foot or underarm odor, bad breath is created by bacteria.

b) Poor oral hygiene – Plaque on the teeth, is a source of bad breath.

c) Stagnated saliva – Flow of saliva practically stops when we are asleep, thus allowing the growth of bacteria that produce odorous gas.

d) Mouth accessories – Dentures, removable bridges, braces, partial plates and orthodontic accessories can accumulate food particles, it should be clean once daily or as recommended by the dentist.

e) Age – The quality of breath odor changes as a person grow older, this is because our salivary glands change, too much or too little saliva is sometimes produced. As the person age, his breath becomes pungent even with good brushing habits.

f) Tobacco – Definitely, smoking causes bad breath.

g) Food – Onion, garlic meat and alcohol are sources of bad breath.

h) Some drugs – There are medications that dry the oral cavity which eventually can cause halitosis.

Among the reasons are:

1) tar and nicotine build up on the mouth such as teeth, tongue and sides of cheeks.

2) Smoking dries the mouth by inhibiting saliva flow, thus in turn leads to the growth of bacteria causing bad breath.

3) Smoking can exacerbate gum disease and sinus conditions, two important bad breath risks.

Treating Bad Breath: Be informed that halitosis is not a simple problem. Treatment involves a commitment to proper hygiene, good eating habits and being health conscious. A regular visit to your dentist at least once a year is advised. A thorough inspection of the mouth, teeth, tongue, tonsils and lips for any infections is recommended.

What you need to get rid of bad breath is a need to decrease bacterial population is by the use of a tongue scraper first thing in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Make sure to floss and brush your teeth regularly. Cavities can be a habitat by bacteria that cause bad breath.

Herewith, are some more tips in eliminating or preventing the occurrence of halitosis.

1) Take note of your diet – Watch out for the following:

a)Foods and beverages that have strong odors (onions, garlic, black tea, coffee)
b) Sugary foods which help to feed the bacteria in the mouth.
c) Liquors which dries the mouth causing more odor.
d) Dehydration – drinking 8 glasses of water per day is recommended.
e) Changing to a low fat and vegetarian diet, especially fresh fruits which may reduce halitosis.

2) Take food with anti-bacterial properties which moisten the mouth, like cranberries, wasabi, green tea and sugarless gum. It helps keep the mouth wet and wash the bacteria away.

3) Try natural remedies – Avoid mints and gums that contain sugar and chew instead a few fennel or anise seeds, or a small slice of ginger root or fresh parsley to freshen your breath.

4) Rinse your mouth thoroughly, with water after eating if you can’t brush your teeth after every meal.

5) Bacteria can accumulate on your toothbrush and can transfer back to your mouth which worsen bad breath, hence it is recommended to regularly change your toothbrush every three months.

6) Take a deep breath and relax – stress and nervous tension make bad breath worse because they tend to cause the mouth dry.

7) Make the removal of plaque and teeth cleaning regularly with your dentist.

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