Bad breath

Do you have bad breath?

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a very common ailment. Bad breath can be very annoying and interfere with daily social activity. It is possible to sense the smell yourself, but the nose can also gradually get accustomed to it. Bad breath occurs normally even in healthy persons, yet it can also be a sign of an oral or general disease.

What causes bad breath?

There is nearly a 90% probability that the cause of bad breath is in the mouth. Bacteria living in the mouth produce bad smelling sulfur compounds. With poor oral hygiene and insufficient rinsing effect of saliva, the number of bacteria increases and the breath can begin to smell. Halitosis often occurs in the morning as saliva flow reduces at night. Dry mouth and meager saliva flow also hinder the rinsing of oral bacteria and their metabolites. In addition, hunger, not eating and drinking for a long time, certain foods and drinks and smoking may be causes of bad breath.

Oral inflammations, such as decayed teeth, gum infections and periodontitis, abscesses and wisdom tooth-related infections are very common causes of halitosis. Plaque and scraps of food accumulate in gaps between the teeth that are difficult to clean, uneven filling material surfaces and prosthetics that fit poorly in the mouth, causing a bad odor. Also, the coating accumulating on the tongue is among the most common causes of bad breath.

Nevertheless, bad breath can be attributed to other reasons in some cases. Throat, sinus and nasal passage infections, fever and cancers can cause bad breath. Bad breath can also be associated with several systemic diseases, such as diabetes, gastric ulcer, hepatic disease, lung disease and renal insufficiency. Many medicinal agents also cause dry mouth and therefore often also halitosis.

How is bad breath treated?

The treatment starts in finding out the reason for bad breath. Poor oral hygiene is by far the most common cause of halitosis. The main principle in the treatment is to reduce the amount of odor-producing bacteria. Daily careful oral cleansing is the best way to treat and prevent bad breath. It is important to cleanse the teeth, between the teeth, gums, prosthetics and tongue covering every day. If necessary, various oral care products, such as mouthwashes, can be used. If the smell is caused by dry mouth, pastilles, chewing gum and artificial saliva will help the situation. Oral infections should also be treated regularly by a dentist.





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