What is bad breath (Halitosis)?
Halitosis, often called bad breath, is a prevalent issue with various potential causes leading to unpleasant breath odour.
If you're experiencing halitosis, our medical experts can identify the underlying reasons and suggest appropriate remedies.
Dealing with this condition can be uncomfortable; you might not even be aware of it, and others might notice before you do. If you're concerned, you can request a close friend or family member to assess, or you can perform a self-check by licking your wrist, waiting a moment, and then smelling it to determine if the odour is neutral or undesirable.
What causes bad breath (Halitosis)?
Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors, including:
Inadequate Oral Hygiene: When proper oral care is neglected, bacteria meant for food breakdown can accumulate and emit gases, resulting in unpleasant breath. To prevent this, brushing your teeth twice daily, cleaning your tongue, and using dental floss to maintain oral hygiene is recommended.
Gum Disease: Persistent bad breath might indicate gum disease. Watch for tender, swollen gums that bleed during brushing. Consulting a dentist is advisable if these symptoms arise.
Smoking: Smoking causes foul breath and leads to teeth staining gum issues, and diminished taste and smell sensations.
Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol's potent scent can linger on your breath. Regular dental hygiene practices or mouthwash use can mitigate this effect.
Consuming Strong-Smelling Foods, like Garlic: Enjoying strongly flavored foods can temporarily cause bad breath. Employing tooth cleaning and mouthwash can expedite odour removal.
Crash Dieting: Crash diets involving carb reduction prompt the body to break down fats, producing ketones—a scent detectable on breath. Reverting to a balanced diet should eliminate this odour.
What can bad breath (Halitosis) be a symptom of?
As previously indicated, bad breath, or halitosis, commonly arises from the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth due to insufficient oral care or the mentioned factors.
Nevertheless, certain medical conditions are also recognized for contributing to unpleasant breath odour, and these encompass:
Insufficient saliva production may lead to problems in your mouth. This can cause an accumulation of bacteria, resulting in unpleasant breath.
This ailment can result in the upward flow of stomach contents into the oesophagus, leading to a burning sensation and a sour taste in the mouth. Additionally, this condition has been associated with the occurrence of bad breath.
It's uncommon to experience bad breath due to stomach problems, but infections in the stomach lining or small intestine can lead to halitosis.
Individuals with diabetes might experience ketoacidosis, which occurs when fat replaces glucose in the body. This can lead to breath emitting an atypical odour, occasionally likened to the scent of nail polish.
Halitosis can be caused by various types of infections, including tonsillitis. If you suspect that there might be an underlying medical condition causing your bad breath, it's best to consult a doctor.
It is also possible for certain medications to cause bad breath due to the way they are metabolized within the body. Therefore, if you've recently begun taking a new medication and observed an unusual breath odour, informing your doctor is essential, as they might suggest an alternative prescription.
How do I treat bad breath (Halitosis) ?
Bad breath can usually be treated effectively in most cases. If you suspect an underlying condition is responsible for the issue, it's recommended to consult a doctor.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is critical for cases not rooted in underlying causes. Here are some tips:
- Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, in the morning and evening.
- Ensure you clean your gums and tongue during brushing.
- Use dental floss to remove food particles from between your teeth.
- Drinking ample water aids in reducing bacterial presence in your mouth.
- Regularly visit your dentist for check-ups, especially if gum disease is a concern.
- Chewing sugar-free gum encourages saliva production, contributing to oral cleanliness.
If you smoke or consume alcohol, quitting is the most effective remedy. Returning to a regular diet typically resolves the problem for cases related to crash dieting. If you're experiencing bad breath, you can seek medical advice through Mobi Doctor's online consultation services.