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Bad Breath (Halitosis): Causes and Treatment

An unpleasant condition which is a major cause of embarrassment, oral odour is generally caused by smelly waste products that are created by anaerobic oral bacteria. Making you feel self-conscious even about smiling, chronic bad breath or halitosis, can also be a sign of a larger problem. The truth however is that no one likes to hear that they have a bad breath. Sometimes, they don’t even know. Since it’s really hard to tell on your own. The best option is to ask a family member or a trusted accomplice.

What causes breath odour?

Researches prove that in most cases, breath odour is directly attributed to factors emanating in one’s mouth. Varying widely, some prominent causes are:

– Poor oral hygiene habits: Irregular brushing, flossing and rinsing
– Medications: Diuretics, antidepressants, and other supplements that inhibit saliva production
– Gum infections: Infected tooth or gum lines and periodontitis
– Chronic ailments such as poorly controlled diabetes, respiratory infections and sinusitis
– Odour-inducing food items like onion and garlic
– Xerostomia: Excessively dry mouth
– Tobacco products

Treating and preventing halitosis is a straightforward affair. If you wish to control mouth odour, you need to control the bacteria that causes it and minimize the plaque accumulation.

1. Effective Mouth Cleaning: It involves
– Brushing and flossing
– Cleaning the tongue
– Oral rinses

2. Limiting supply to anaerobic bacteria: Anaerobic bacteria, while digesting proteins create Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs) that cause bad breath. Hence, it’s pivotal that you limit munching frequently and thoroughly clean your mouth after eating. A lot of debris accumulates between your teeth and is later incorporated into the coating found on your tongue’s back, which is exactly where the anaerobic bacteria reside.

For some people, it so might happen, no matter how hard they may try to clean their mouth, it would still feel like something crawled up there and rotted. Such serious cases of halitosis require a visit to the dentist. The dentist would determine if the odour is of oral origin or not. You would be referred to a specialist if the odour isn’t caused by oral factors or to a periodontist if it’s caused by periodontal disease to create a healthier oral ecology. Your dentist might involve techniques like scaling or root planning (deep cleaning).

Concerned about bad breath?
Get in touch with Dr. Bhutani and put an end to all your oral problems.

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