Causes of Halitosis (Bad Breath) and What You Can Do to Avoid It
Halitosis is a condition characterized by a malodor that comes from the mouth. In simple terms, bad breath, and there can be several causes. In any case, you need to cure it if you have it, not only to save you from embarrassment, but also to protect your body against a potential health issue that may for now be manifesting halitosis.
Around 90% of bad breath microorganisms are found on the tongue. In particular, these germs may cover those minute papillae, leading to halitosis. Take a long, hard look at your tongue in the mirror. If you see some kind of coating, then you likely have bad breath. When they brush teeth, some people forget they have a tongue that must also be cleaned. A tongue scraper works better though (instead of a toothbrush) to get rid of the coating, which is practically a combination of food bits, bacteria and dead cells.
The offensive odor from the mouth could also be come from the throat. One example of a halitosis-causing throat condition is tonsillitis – infected tonsils plus tonsil stones means bad breath. Any kind of respiratory tract infection can also cause this condition – pneumonia, bronchitis, postnasal drip, etc.
Halitosis can also originate in the GI system. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is characterized by stomach acids, which may include undigested food and bile, flowing back into the esophagus and causing bad breath. Vomiting that causes dehydration also leads to bad breath because of mouth dryness. Saliva keeps the mouth moist and helps remove bacteria and food particles.
Halitosis can result from dental problems like gum disease and dental cavities too. So if you have any of those, you might want to have it fixed by your dentist before it causes bad breath, if it hasn’t. Yes, it could be a dental issue, but it could also be something else entirely. Should your dentist decide it’s beyond dentistry, they will tell you and make the appropriate recommendations.
Basic Tips for Avoiding or Curing Bad Breath
– Drink enough water everyday (dry mouth equals bad breath). – Before going to sleep every night, be sure to remove your dentures and clean them thoroughly. – Make it a point to brush your teeth twice and to floss everyday. – Visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. – Steer clear of tobacco products and odor-causing foods (raw garlic and onions, for example). – Have more fennel seeds, aniseeds and cloves in your diet for their antiseptic benefits; and fresh herbs, such as mint and parsley, for their ability to neutralize odors.