Causes and Remedies of Bad Breath

 By: Cristian Stan
Halitosis or Bad breath is an embarrassing problem that is commonly seen in a number of people globally. It is a condition that can be treated effectively as long as the cause of the bad breath is addressed.

It has been found that the causes range widely but 85-90% of all the causes originate from the mouth itself.

The seven most common causes of bad breath are:

1. Accumulation of Food Debris: Accumulation of food debris on or between the teeth or over the surface of the tongue is the most common cause for bad breath. Bacteria act on these food particles and produce products which give off the foul odor.

2. Tooth Decay: The decaying of tooth or Dental Caries is an important causative agent of bad breath. The bacteria act in a putrefactive manner on the tooth which leads to its demineralization causing bad breath.

3. Dryness of mouth (Xerostomia): Saliva is a natural mouthwash and shows extensive anti-bacterial action. When saliva production in the oral cavity is decreased, it leads to plaque accumulation which favors the growth of odor causing organisms.

4. Gum Diseases: Gum disease and periodontal disease also play an important role in causing halitosis.

5. Smoking: The accumulation of nicotine, tar and other foul smelling substances in mouth causes typical bad breath in smokers known as smoker’s breath.

6. Severe Dieting: Severe dieting causes numerous health hazards including bad breath. The foul odor is due to ketoacidosis which is caused due to prolonged starvation.

7. Extra-oral sources: Although, it’s most commonly found that the source of bad breath is the mouth itself, there are also many conditions in which extra-oral sources are to be blamed such as diabetes, infections of respiratory tract and kidney dysfunction.

Another important aspect of halitosis that should be considered is Halitophobia or delusional Halitosis which is prevalent among quarter of the people who seek professional advice for Halitosis. Halitophobia is the fear of having bad breath which drives these people to seek professional advice.

Now, let us look at the remedies of bad breath which should help banish your bad breath.

• It might sound obvious but the best way to keep bad breath at bay is by brushing your teeth regularly. Not just brushing often but brushing correctly is the key. So, learn to brush correctly and regularly.

• As we had mentioned earlier, tooth decay is an important causative agent of Halitosis and it needs to be addressed. Tooth decays are generally treated by fillings or Root Canal Treatments.

• Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) decreases the saliva production and the causative agent for the condition needs to be rectified. Drinking plenty of water and chewing sugar-free gum helps a lot.

• Avoid tobacco chewing or Smoking which leaves their products in the mouth and cause bad breath.

• Using a mouth wash may hide your bad breath but does not mean that the condition has been treated.

• Bad breath which occurs when you are hungry is normal and should go away after you munch on something.

• Rinse your mouth after every meal.
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Article Tags: dental care, dentistry

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