What is bad breath (halitosis)?
An unpleasant-smelling breath, known as halitosis, is a frequent occurrence, and there can be a variety of causes for an unpleasant-smelling breath.
If you're experiencing bad breath, our team of medical professionals can help determine the source and suggest the appropriate course of action. They will work with you to find a solution that will help you restore fresh breath and maintain it.
Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common problem many struggle with. If you think you have bad breath, there are a few ways you can check. You might want to ask a family member or friend to check for you or try licking your wrist and smelling it after a few seconds to see if the smell is unpleasant. If you suspect you may have bad breath, you must consult your dentist to identify the cause and treatment.
What causes bad breath (halitosis)?
Bad breath is commonly caused by:
Poor oral hygiene: Mouth bacteria that break down food can build up and release gas if you don't maintain good oral hygiene.
Gum diseases: If you have bad breath that will not go away, it could be a sign of gum disease. Look out for sore, swollen gums which bleed when you brush them. Speak to your dentist first if this is the case.
Smoking causes bad breath, stains your teeth, causes gum problems, and reduces your sense of smell and taste.
Drinking alcohol Alcohol leaves a strong smell on your breath. Using mouthwash or cleaning your teeth should help.
Eating strong-smelling food, like garlic, can temporarily cause bad breath if you like it. If the smell persists, you can use mouthwash and clean your teeth.
Crash dieting Cutting carbs, such as cutting out all fat, causes your body to produce ketones - you can smell these chemicals on your breath if you crash diet. The smell should disappear after restoring a regular diet.
What can bad breath (halitosis) be a symptom of?
In addition to the reasons we have mentioned above, halitosis is typically caused by bacteria that accumulate in the mouth because of poor oral hygiene.
Lousy breath, however, can also be caused by certain medical conditions, such as:
Your saliva isn't working as it should.
GORD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease)
This condition, known as acid reflux, can cause a burning sensation and sour flavours in your mouth due to the backflow of the contents of your stomach up your oesophagus. It can also lead to bad breath.
A stomach or lining infection can lead to halitosis, but it is rare.
People with diabetes can experience a condition known as ketoacidosis, where the body breaks down fat instead of glucose as an energy source. This can lead to a distinctive smell on the breath, often described as similar to nail polish.
Suppose you believe there is an underlying condition causing your halitosis. In that case, you should seek medical advice, which could result from other infections, such as tonsillitis.
Breathing problems caused by medications
Halitosis, or bad breath, can be caused by various factors, from smoking and drinking alcohol to certain medical conditions. Medications can also be the culprit, as the body breaks down some drugs and can cause a foul odour. If you have recently started a new medication and are experiencing bad breath, let your doctor know. They may be able to prescribe an alternative medication that does not cause bad breath.
How do I treat bad breath (halitosis) ?
If you think a medical condition causes your bad breath, it is crucial to speak to a doctor. Treatments are available for most cases of bad breath, so it is essential to get a diagnosis to determine the best course of action.
Maintaining good oral hygiene will help if there is no underlying cause.
Here are a few tips:
- Using fluoride toothpaste twice a day is recommended.
- Remember to brush your gums and tongue, too.
- Flossing between your teeth is essential to get rid of food particles.
- To reduce the bacteria in your mouth, stay hydrated and chew sugar-free gum for more saliva production.
- Lastly, seeing your dentist regularly is essential, especially if you think you have gum disease.
Stopping smoking or drinking is the best treatment for smokers and drinkers.
Connect with one of our doctors at Mobi Doctor with the click of a button and receive the care you require.