What is Bad Breath?
Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath is a condition that affects numerous people. It is usually caused due to poor oral hygiene habits, unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol, infections that occur in the mouth and the foods that you eat. Besides, some other culprits include respiratory tract infections, a dry mouth, systemic diseases such as kidney, lung or liver disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues which include acid reflux and other digestion problems. While this condition can cause significant worry, anxiety and embarrassment, it is also easy to remedy.
How is Bad Breath Caused?
Bad breath often begins in the mouth, and there are several possible causes. A few them include:
Poor Oral Hygiene: If you do not brush or floss daily, food particles may remain in your mouth and cause odour. A sticky, colourless film of bacteria called plaque forms on your teeth, which if not brushed away can irritate the gums and form plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums. Sometimes, your tongue too can trap the bacteria that produce odours and cause bad breath.
Infections in the Mouth: Smelly breath can be caused by surgical wounds post an oral surgery, such as a tooth removal or because of a gum disease, tooth decay or mouth sores.
Tobacco Products: Smoking causes a peculiar kind of mouth odour that is very unpleasant. Smokers and tobacco users are more likely to have a gum disease which is another source of bad breath.
Dry Mouth: Saliva helps clean the mouth by removing the particles that cause bad odours. A dry mouth, on the contrary, contributes to foul breath, especially if you sleep with your mouth open. A dry mouth can also be caused by problems with your salivary glands or some diseases.
Medications: Some medicines indirectly produce bad odours by contributing to dry mouth, while others break down in the body and release chemicals that can be carried on your breath.
Food: The breakdown of food in your mouth, in and around the teeth, can increase bacteria and cause odour. Eating foods like onions, spices and garlic too, can cause bad breath. Also, after you digest these foods, they enter the bloodstream and are carried to the lungs, further affecting your breath.
Other Causes: Bad odours can sometimes stem from small stones that form in the tonsils and are often covered with bacteria that produce the smell. Chronic inflammation or infections of the nose, throat or sinuses can also contribute to bad breath. Besides, conditions such as metabolic disorders or some cancers too can cause foul breath as a result of chemicals they produce.
Bad breath symptoms vary, depending on the underlying cause. While some people get worried about their breath even though they have little or no odour, others don’t even know that they have bad breath.
How to Treat Bad Breath?
To treat bad breath, always ensure that you practise great oral care habits. Brushing your teeth twice a day and regularly flossing will help control the development of plaque. A tongue scraper too can contribute to control the odour causing bacteria the forms on the tongue. Apart from practising good oral care habits, it is also advisable to visit your dentist at least twice a year for check-ups and professional cleaning that will help the condition.
How Can You Prevent Bad Breath?
You can prevent bad breath by:
Brushing: Brush your teeth often, preferably after your meals.
Floss: While brushing cleans about 60% of the surface of the tooth, flossing reduces the build-up of plaque between the teeth. Hence, it is also essential to floss regularly.
Brush Your Tongue: Very often, bacteria, dead cells and food build-up on the tongue, particularly in smokers or those with a dry mouth. Brushing your tongue or using s tongue scrapper can prove to be useful.
Diet: If you have bad breath, it is advisable to avoid foods such as onions, spices and garlic. Besides, it is also recommended to reduce sugary foods, coffee and alcohol consumption. Eating rough foods, especially for breakfast, can help clean the back area of the tongue.
Our Dentistry Department at Apollo Clinic offers you world-class services and treatments for all your dental problems. With a combination of state-of-the-art facilities, customised care and a team of skilled dentists, we aim to provide you with the highest quality care. Offering you few of the latest treatments for your all dental problems, including bad breath, we make sure that you have the best possible treatment along with a healthy recovery.