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Bad Breath / Halitosis

Often it is very obvious where the piece is missing from, as it can be very sharp on the cheeks or tongue. The tooth may or may not be sensitive.

  1. General Oral Health (Gum/Tooth disease)
  2. Coffee – eating flavourful food and drink
  3.  Alcohol consumption
  4.  High Protein / Low carb Diet
  5.  High Sugar Diet
  6.  Dry Mouth and Nasal Conditions
  7.  Smoking
  8. Digestive Issues
  9.  Prescription medication
  10.  Potential Illness / Bad breath can be a warning sign that other diseases or illnesses are present
  1. Keeping a consistent and thorough oral care routine is the best defence against bad breath.
  2. After drinking coffee, the caffeine leads to a decline in saliva production. Less saliva means an increase in odour-causing bacteria.
  3. After eating certain foods—like onions, garlic, certain vegetables and spices—odour-causing food particles enter the bloodstream and are carried to the lungs, where they affect the odour of your breath each time you exhale.
  4. When the body doesn’t get enough carbs due to an extreme diet, this can cause changes to your body’s metabolism which can lead to bad breath.
  5. A diet high in sugar can lead to bad breath and could be the culprit for halitosis due to how sugars interact with the existing bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria that naturally exist in your mouth feed on sugars turning sweet treats in to sour smells.
  6. Saliva helps keep your mouth clean by removing food particles that lead to bad breath. When the production of saliva slackens or stops, a condition known as xerostomia, bad breath is likely to follow. Brushing teeth regularly and especially before bed.
  7. Tobacco products—whether it’s cigarettes, chew, or pipe—all cause bad breath and lead to much more serious oral health issues. Apart from leaving your mouth smelling like an ashtray, they damage the gum tissue and cause gum disease.
  8. Poor digestion, constipation, or bowel disorders can all cause unfortunate odour on the breath. If you frequently experience acid reflux, the odours from recently consumed foods may easily make their way back up the oesophagus and out the mouth, causing bad breath.
  9. Hundreds of prescription medications come with the side effect of dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, when saliva production decreases, the environment for odour-causing bacteria thrives. Any extended period of time with cotton mouth can cause discomfort and lead to bad breath. Additionally, some medications, when broken down in the body, release chemicals that can be carried through your blood stream to your breath.
  10.  Although most bad breath is caused by odour-causing bacteria, there are a number of other health conditions that may be contributing to the problem. Bad breath can be a warning sign that other diseases or illnesses are present. Postnasal drip, respiratory and tonsil infections, sinus problems, diabetes, liver and kidney issues, as well as certain blood disorders can all cause bad breath. In some rarer cases, bad breath could be a sign of cancer or other serious conditions like metabolic disorders.
  • Several methods are available in the market for the measurement of halitosis but more than an objective assessment, halitosis is a subjective perception of people. Halitosis emerging from intraoral causes can be easily and effectively treated with the use of daily oral hygiene maintenance aids, but halitosis of extraoral origin needs to be explored further and hence treated as of utmost importance. Hence, although halitosis may be a sign or symptom not seemingly needing any immediate care, the wider implications that halitosis has warrants its treatment at a priority basis.
  • J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2011 Jan-Jun; 1(1): 9–13.
  • doi: 10.4103/2231-0762.86374

Bad breath can be a sign of major health problems. Poor oral hygeine and our genes can also influence the bacteria we have in our mouths, and they can determine whether we have bad breath or not. It’s possible to control bad breath in this case, but it may take a lot more work than it does for most people.

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