Nowadays, retail stores and supermarkets have their mouthwash, toothpaste, gum, and mints sections overwhelmed because a lot of people are quite worried about their verbal interactions with others to prevent embarrassment.
Bad breath is also called Halitosis, and can be quite very embarrassing and cause significant psychological distress as it can be present for a long period.
Halitosis affects an estimated 25 percent of people. There are several possible causes of halitosis, but the vast majority come down to dental hygiene.
It’s usually difficult to assess how your breath smells, so you can ask a close friend or relative to confirm bad breath. Odors of bad breath vary, depending on the source or the underlying cause. Also, some people get to worry about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odor, while some others have bad breath and don’t know it.
Most of the bad breath causes start in the mouth, and there are many possible causes. These include:
Food: The breakdown of food particles in and around your teeth can increase bacteria and cause a foul odor. Eating certain foods, such as onions, garlic, and spices, also can cause bad breath.
Tobacco products: Smokers and oral tobacco users are also more likely to have gum disease, another source of bad breath. Smoking itself causes its unpleasant mouth odor.
Poor dental hygiene: Not brushing and flossing daily causes food particles to remain in your mouth, and then cause bad breath, forming a colorless, sticky film of bacteria known as plaque on your teeth. If this is not brushed away, it can irritate your gums and eventually cause periodontitis. Your tongue also can trap bacteria that produce odors. Dentures that aren’t cleaned regularly or don’t fit properly can harbor odor-causing bacteria and food particles.
Dry mouth: Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, removing particles that cause bad odors. A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia can contribute to bad breath because the production of saliva is decreased. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep, leading to “morning breath”.
Medications: Some medications can indirectly produce bad breath by contributing to dry mouth. Others can be broken down in the body to release chemicals that can be carried on your breath.
Infections in your mouth: Bad breath can be caused by surgical wounds after oral surgery, such as tooth removal, or as a result of tooth decay, gum disease, or mouth sores.
Another mouth, nose, and throat condition: Bad breath can occasionally stem from small stones that form in the tonsils and are covered with bacteria that produce odor. Infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses, or throat, which can contribute to postnasal drip, also can cause bad breath.
Other causes: Diseases, such as some cancers, and conditions such as metabolic disorders, can cause a distinctive breath odor as a result of chemicals they produce. Chronic reflux of stomach acids can also be associated with bad breath, and in young children, can be caused by a foreign body, such as a piece of food, lodged in a nostril.
Dental measures may include:
Mouth rinses and: If your bad breath is due to plaques, your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse that kills the bacteria. Your dentist may also recommend toothpaste that contains an antibacterial agent to kill the bacteria that cause plaque buildup.
Treatment of dental disease: If you have gum disease, you may be referred to a gum specialist (periodontist). Gum disease can cause gums to pull away from your teeth, leaving deep pockets that fill with odor-causing bacteria. Sometimes only professional cleaning removes these bacteria. You can also visit endodontics near you who might also recommend replacing faulty tooth restorations.
Try these simple steps to make your mouth feel fresh and clean, and get a healthy smile.