Halitosis is a condition of having offensive smelling breath which can cause psychological distress. It affects 25% of people globally. There are a number of potential causes, though the most common cause is due to oral hygiene.
Common causes of bad breath:
- Odour causing foods like garlic, onions
- Smoking and alcohol
- Dry mouth – allows build up of odours due to lack of saliva
- Decay/cavity on tooth
- Dental infection/abscesses
- Plaque and calculus on teeth causing Gum disease
- Uncleaned tongue
- Food stuck between teeth
- Oral cancer
- Respiratory tract infection
- Lung, Liver, Gastrointestinal disease
- Chronic tonsillitis
- Chronic sinusitis
- Endocrine disease
- Drugs/ medications – certain drugs can cause release odours as they breakdown
Diagnosis of Bad breath:
- Sometimes you will notice yourself or a loved one will tell you.
- A variety of sophisticated detectors are available that measure level of gases / bacteria enzymes
- First establish the cause of bad breath
- Any dental problems or underlying physical problem need to be treated
- At least twice a year dental check and clean.
- Keep yourself hydrated at all times with plain water
- Brush your teeth morning and night, floss daily and clean your tongue .
- Keep any dentures or night-guards clean
- Chew Sugarless gums
- Limited studies have shown that some medication may help to reduce the bad breath
- Certain mouthwashes can help in some cases
If bad breath persists after the above, the individual should visit a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions