Bad breath or Halitosis as it is medically termed , is the foul or unpleasant smell coming out of the mouth. This is a cause for embarrassment for the person suffering from it. Most often a person is not even aware of him/her suffering from it.
The causes of bad breath are many. They can be due to oral or extra-oral causes. Some of the causative factors are as follows :
- Improper Brushing: If brushing is not proper then food can accumulate between the teeth causing it to rot thus producing bad breath. Food accumulated on the teeth, gums and tongue attracts bacteria. This leads to foul smell.
- Dry Mouth or Xerostomia: Bad breath can occur in mouths which have a decreased flow of saliva. Saliva helps wash away the food debris in the mouth thus preventing it from accumulating and rotting and causing bad smell .Dry mouth may be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems or continuous breathing from the mouth.
- Tobacco: Use of Tobacco and its products also result in bad breath.
- Artificial Dentures: In patients with artificial dentures who have a poor oral hygiene there is a greater chance of bad breath.
- Gum Disorders: People with gum problems and pockets often suffer from bad breath.
- Medical Disorders: These are the extra-oral causes and bad breath is often an indication for a medical disorder. Local infection of the respiratory tract, post nasal drip, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbances, liver or kidney ailment can lead to bad breath.
- Severe Dieting: People who go on a severe diet can also have bad breath, this is due to ketoacidosis,which is the breakdown of body chemicals during fasting.
Treatment for Bad Breath
If suffering from bad breath visit your Dental surgeon for a check up.He/She may evaluate the causes for bad breath and will advise you the treatment accordingly.
It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene.Brush properly twice a day and with a good toothpaste.Use floss or an interdental cleaner at least once a day.This helps in removal of food between the teeth.
Visit your Dental Surgeon after every six months for a checkup and a Cleaning.
Remember bad breath can lead to social shunning and quite often can be an indication for a medical disorder which you may be suffering from and may not be even aware of.