IS ORAL MALODOUR NORMAL?
Bad breath or halitosis is a condition whereby unpleasant odours emanate from the oral cavity.
It is important to understand that often oral odour is normal. This is often a consequence of eating various foods such as garlic, onion or spices, foods such as cabbage, cauliflower and radish, or of habits such as smoking, or drinking alcohol. It is also noted early in the morning (morning breath). The best way to manage this type of oral malodour is by brushing and rinsing the oral cavity after such foods or by avoiding these foods. But, oral malodour/bad breath can be considered as an abnormal when itis persisting despite good oral hygiene procedures and avoiding odour causing foods.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF ABNORMAL ORAL MALODOUR?
Various causes exist. The most common include:
- Inflammation and infections of gums. This is often the common cause and neglected cause
- Neglected cleaning or a poorly designed dental appliance. Using dentures and braces during orthodontic therapy can create bad breath if they are not brushed and maintained well.
- Decreased salivation in the mouth. It can result as a consequence of dehydration or due to poor general health. Often multiple medications when taken together can also reduce a good salivation.
- Infective processes such decay, oral ulcers etc.,
- Nasal or sinus infections
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease/ acidity
HOW CAN I MANAGE ORAL MALODOUR?
- Visit a dentist to identify the exact cause of oral malodour
- Follow good brushing techniques
- Tongue cleaning with a tongue scraper is often useful
- Use a dentist recommended mouthwash regularly
- Always clean your dentures well and keep them in water overnight unless advised otherwise.
- Rinse your mouth after meals
- Avoid foods and habits which cause increased odour. Eg: garlic, onion, radish
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
- Improve your water consumption daily
- Check if any of your medications can cause bad breath