Monday, 11 July 2011

Bad Breath/Halitosis – Causes and Treatment

Bad breath


Halitosis or bad breath can be quite awkward, but it is always curable.In many case bad breath is treated through improving your dental hygiene or altering your diet. Nevertheless, in some cases, foul breath signifies more severe health problems that could require professional medical attention

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Causes of Bad Breath

Bacterial Infections

 The most typical reason for bad breath  or halitosis is actually bacterial buildup within the mouth, particularly around the teeth, gums, and tongue. These types of bacteria feed on carbs such as sugar left in the mouth area after eating, causing the buildup known as oral plaque buildup . As these types of germs break up meals and grow, these people emit the foul odor. Decaying teeth and infected gums result in the smell worse.

Certain Foods

Some foods also tend to cause bad breath. Garlic, onions, and other foods containing volatile oils are common culprits, as the oils they contain are transmitted to the lungs for days after being consumed. Other food matter can cause bad breath as it breaks down in the mouth.

Certain Medical Conditions

Bad breath can be linked to medical conditions that do not directly affect the teeth, gums, or tongue. Sinus infections and other such conditions that cause a nasal discharge into the throat may be responsible for bad breath, as may throat and respiratory infections. The blood sugar fluctuations associated with diabetes often make the breath smell unpleasantly fruity. Acid reflux (GERD) can also cause bad breath.Certain forms of bad breath may even indicate life-threatening medical conditions. Some cancers and metabolic disorders may cause chronic bad breath. In addition, liver failure can cause the breath to smell like fish, while kidney failure can cause a urine-like breath odour. If you have an unusual breath odor, such as these, that persists, you should be examined promptly by your doctor.

Self Test For Bad Breath

Follow the 5 easy steps below and test your breath and find out do you have Bad Breath: 

  1. Lick the back of your hand. Let it dry for a few seconds and then smell. If you notice and odor, you have a breath disorder
  2. Cup your hands and breathe deeply into them. Now sniff, you'll know whether you have bad breath or not.
  3. Place dental floss between your back teeth and then smell the floss.
  4. While looking at the mirror, grab the tip of your tongue with a Kleenex and pull it out as far you can. If you see that the very back of your tongue is whitish in color, it may be a sign that you have bad breath.
  5. Ask the opinion of someone you can trust. Check your breath several times daily because your breath changes throughout the day.
  6. Professional use of a Halimeter will measures the concentration of volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) in the mouth.
Treating and Prevention of halitosis
  • At all times maintain a high level of oral and dental hygiene. In addition to brushing, it is important to clean between the teeth using dental floss, toothpicks or an inter-dental brush as recommended by your dentist or pharmacist.
  • Use a tongue cleaner and clean right to the back of the tongue.
  • Use a mouthwash is recommended. The best time to use it is just before sleeping.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, avoiding too much coffee and alcohol.
  • Clean your mouth after eating dairy products, fish and meat.
  • Chew sugar-free gum, especially if your mouth feels dry.
  • Eat fresh food and fibrous vegetables.
  • Visit your dentist regularly and have your teeth professionally cleaned as required.

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