Halitosis: Causes and Treatment
Halitosis or more commonly known as bad breath may have different causes. Globally, one out of four people suffer from stinky breath disease. The biggest factor why you may have a bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene. However, oral hygiene is not the only culprit for bad breath.
Food and Beverage: Food like onions, garlic, cheese, certain spices, coffee or soda leaves residue in our mouth and stays for up to 72 hours. Their residual products are carried to the lungs through the blood, where the odor is excreted.
Medications or Drugs. Medications that reduce the production of saliva can cause bad breath. Saliva acts as a mouth cleanser and having a dry mouth can make you prone to halitosis. Certain medications such as phenothiazines and nitrates produce odor as they break down. These odors manifests in our breath.
Health Condition. Bad breath can also be caused by chronic medical conditions. People who have diabetes, liver malfunction or kidney failure may suffer from halitosis due to the chemicals that their bodies excrete.
Poor Oral Hygiene. Oral care is a must to avoid bacteria build up in your mouth. If you don’t brush regularly, small particles of food left in your mouth may produce a bad odor.
Halitosis can be prevented and treated. One of the best ways to treat it is to adapt and maintain a good dental hygiene. Aside from regularly brushing your teeth with fluoride tootpaste and flossing, having a healthier diet can also help prevent bad breath. For dry mouth and tobacco use, sugar-free mints may also help. If you are using dentures or are wearing braces or retainers, clean them as instructed by your dentist. Regular visits to your dentist for cleaning and consultation will greatly help.
If you suspect halitosis and wish to treat it, ask your dentist about other potential solutions.