Halitosis (Bad Breath) – Causes and Tips
Halitosis is a condition characterized by a malodor that comes from the mouth. In simple terms, bad breath, and there can be several causes. If you have it, you should cure it not only to keep you from embarrassing yourself, but also to shield your body against a possible health problem that may be presenting itself as halitosis for now.
About 90% of bad breath-causing bacteria live 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 there’s a kind of coating, then you probably have bad breath. When brushing their teeth, some people forget about their tongue, which requires regular cleaning too. A tongue scraper is more effective than a toothbrush though for sweeping away the coating left behind by dead cells, bacteria and food bits.
The foul odor coming from the mouth may also originate in the throat. One common throat condition that can cause halitosis is tonsillitis – infected tonsils and tonsil stones can lead to bad breath. Any kind of respiratory tract infection can also cause this condition – pneumonia, bronchitis, postnasal drip, etc.
Halitosis can also originate in the GI system. In people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach acids – which may come with bile and undigested food – go back up to the esophagus, leading to bad breath. When vomiting results in dehydration, bad breath can also occur because of dry mouth. Saliva lubricates the mouth and washes away leftover food bits and bacteria.
Halitosis can result from dental problems like gum disease and dental cavities too. So if you have any of those, you might want to have it fixed by your dentist before it causes bad breath, if it hasn’t. Yes, it might be a dental issue, or then again, it could be something else. If your dentist thinks it’s beyond dentistry, they will give you advice as necessary.
How to Fight Bad Breath
– Drink enough water everyday (dry mouth equals bad breath). – Before going to sleep every night, be sure to remove your dentures and clean them thoroughly. – Brush your teeth twice daily, and floss everyday as well. – Schedule regular dental appointments (for basic cleaning and checkup). – 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.