HALITOSIS: CAUSES AND PREVENTION
Many times, we tend to cover our noses or hold our breaths when listening to the speech of others. This is not a way of offending them or trying to make jest of them. The odour coming out of most people sometimes is nothing to write home about. This odour is known as HALITOSIS.
Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is an oral condition characterized by an unpleasant odour coming from the mouth. Halitosis is also known as bad breath. This oral condition can be permanent if not taken care of in time.
Common Causes of Halitosis
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Without proper dental care like brushing the teeth, and periodic dental cleaning, harmful bacteria invade the mouth which can lead to other health issues. When food particles and bacteria accumulate in the mouth after the consumption of food, it produces sulfur compounds that can cause bad breath.
- Xerostomia: This is also known as dry mouth. Saliva helps to wash food particles and bacteria from the mouth, if the mouth is devoid of saliva, it can cause halitosis.
- Tonsil Stones: When food gets stuck at the back of the throat, it hardens into calcium stones called Tonsillitis which causes sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, pain & discomfort in the throat, fever, earache, etc.
- Gum Disease: Untreated inflammation of the gums (Gingivitis) can lead to periodontitis which damages gum tissues and can lead to tooth and bone loss.
- Liver disease or Kidney disease: When the liver and kidneys are functioning properly, they remove toxins from the body. These toxic substances are not being cleared from people with Kidney and Liver diseases which can result in halitosis.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): This is a digestive disorder in which stomach acid or fluid leaks back into the Oesophagus.
When an individual experiences chronic halitosis, it could mean such an individual has gum disease. If you are experiencing bad breath and it does not go away, schedule an appointment with a dentist.
Prevention of Halitosis
- Brush at least twice a day. Do not brush your teeth rigorously lest you destroy your gums. Remember to clean your tongue with your brush or a tongue scraper which can be bought at the pharmacy.
- Drink a lot of water to help prevent dry mouth.
- Limit certain food intakes such as garlic, onions and ginger that can cause bad breath. Minimize the way you consume such foods.
- Stop smoking: Smoking leads to bad breath and can also cause gum diseases and other oral health problems
- Make it a duty to visit your dentist regularly. Regular checkups and cleanings can help identify and treat dental issues causing bad breath.
If you have persistent bad breath despite using the preventive measures above, it is essential you consult your dentist or healthcare provider to identify the cause and proffer an appropriate treatment plan.
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Picture Credit: Manhattan Dental Care Studio