Bad Breathe (Halitosis) is the third most common reason that people seek dental care (after tooth decay and gum disease). It has taken up to affect 1 in 4 people globally. The medical term for bad breathe is Halitosis and the most common causes is bad oral hygiene. If particles of food are left in the mouth, their breakdown by bacteria produces sulfur compounds which lead to provide foul smell in mouth
To detect whether have wrapped with bad breathe, it is best to ask a close friend or relative to gauge your mouth odor as it is very difficult to assess it yourself. If no one is to hand, one way of checking the odor is to lick your wrist, leave it to dry and then smell it. If it smells bad, there is a strong chance your breath also smells bad.
Simple home remedies and lifestyle changes, such as improved dental hygiene which include regular brushing, flossing, Mouth washing and quitting smoking, can often remove the issue. Keeping the mouth hydrated can reduce mouth odor. Bad breath in children is often due to a trapped item in the nasal cavity.
If bad breath persists, however, it is advisable to visit a doctor to check for underlying causes.
Here are some key points about bad breath.
- The other Common Causes of bad breath, is
Smoking/ Tobacco : Products cause their own types of mouth odor. Additionally, they increase the chances of gum disease which can also cause bad breath
Tooth Decay : Due to poor oral hygine, a film of bacteria called plaque builds up leading to tooth decay, and thus produce odor
Alcohol Consumption : Products cause their own types of mouth odor
Dry Mouth : saliva naturally cleans the mouth. If the mouth is naturally dry (for instance, in the morning) or is dry due to a specific disease (such as xerostomia), odors can build up
Crash diets : Fasting and low-carbohydrate eating programs can produce halitosis; this is due to the breakdown of fats producing chemicals called ketones. These ketones have a strong aroma
Certain Medications : certain medications can reduce saliva and, therefore, increase odors. Other drugs can produce odors as they breakdown and release chemicals in the breath.
Mouth, nose and throat conditions : sometimes small, bacteria covered stones can form on the tonsils at the back of the throat (tonsilloliths) and produce odor. Also, infections or inflammation in the nose, throat or sinuses can cause halitosis
Certain Diseases : some cancers, liver failure and other metabolic diseases can cause halitosis due to specific mixes of chemicals that they produce
- The other Rarer Causes of bad breath are
Bowel Obstruction : breath can smell like feces if there has been a prolonged period of vomiting, especially if a bowel obstruction is present
ketoacidosis : ketones are produced and build up, if the insulin levels of diabetic patients goes down. Ketones when found in large numbers produce a distinctive and unpleasant breath odor
Chronic kidney Failure: Due to kideney faliure, the waste products normally removed by the kidneys are left in body, to build up in the bloodstream and produce smell similar to urine or ammonia
Bronchiectasis : a long-term condition where airways are wider than normal, allowing for a build-up of mucus that leads to bad breath
Aspiration pneumonia: a swelling or infection in the lungs or airways due to inhaling vomit, saliva, food or liquids.
- Other lifestyle and home remedies for bad breath include:
- Brush teeth: brush at least twice a day, but preferably after each meal
- Floss: flossing reduces the build-up of food particles and plaque from between the teeth – brushing only cleans around 60% of the surface of the tooth
- Clean dentures: anything that goes into your mouth – dentures, bridge, mouth guard – should be cleaned as recommended on a daily basis. Cleaning prevents the bacteria from building up and being transferred back into the mouth. Changing toothbrush every 2-3 months is also important for similar reasons
- Brush tongue: bacteria, food and dead cells commonly build up on the tongue, especially in smokers or those with a particularly dry mouth. Sometimes, a tongue scraper can be useful
- Avoid dry mouth: drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, both of which dehydrate the mouth. Chewing gum or sucking a sweet (preferably sugar-free) can help stimulate the production of saliva. If the mouth is chronically dry, a doctor may prescribe medication that stimulates the flow of saliva
- Diet: avoid onions, garlic and spicy food. Sugary foods are also linked to bad breath. Reduce coffee and alcohol consumption. Eating a breakfast that includes rough foods can help clean the back of the tongue.
If breath odor persists despite the factors listed above being under control, it is recommended that an individual visits a doctor for further tests to rule out other conditions.