Bad breath which is medically known as “Halitosis”, is a term used to describe the type of odor emanating from the oral cavity.
Bad breath is nothing uncommon and affects almost 65% of the world population.
There are many reasons why you might get bad breath, some of which are listed below.
- Oral Factors
- Food lodgement between your teeth or on your tongue
- Dry mouth
- Unclean dentures
- Faulty fillings where food gets stuck
- Foods such as garlic, onion and cheese/ strongly flavored or heavily – spiced foods
- Dental infections such as gum boil
- Respiratory tract infections such as Bronchitis, Pneumonia and Sinusitis
- Systemic Diseases like Diabetes, kidney Failure or Liver Diseases and GERD
HOW DO YOU GET BAD BREATH
When any food particle gets stuck between your teeth or gums or on your tongue or even on dentures and if you do not care to brush or floss them off, the food particles begins to rot and invite bacteria to feed on them which results in the release of odoriferous substances known as “Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs)” and thus give you a smelly breath.
WAYS TO FIND YOUR BAD BREATH BY OWNSELF
A better way to manually assess your breath is to lick the inside of your wrist and smell it. The scent of breath on skin will be easier for your nose to pick up. Even so, this technique is not completely sure fire.
OTHER WAYS TO FIND OUT.
Ask someone you trust to let you know if your breath smells good or bad.
Using a tongue scraper may also be beneficial, for both assessing and eliminating bad breath.
At the dentist
You can also ask your dentist for a bad breath test.
This test measures volatile sulfur compound (VSC) level. VSCs are caused by an overgrowth of bacteria, either in the bowel or mouth.
This method relies on a dentist’s personal assessment of the way your breath smells through a plastic straw. Often, the dentist will compare exhalations from the nose to those of the mouth in order to make a determination.
TEN GOLDEN WAYS TO FIGHT BAD BREATH
- Brush your teeth twice a day, making sure you do it along the gum line and on all teeth surfaces.
- Using a tongue scraper to get rid of the lurking odor-causing bacteria on the surface of your tongue
- “Floss the Moss” off your teeth regularly using an Interdental aid
- Avoid foods which tend to cause bad breath. Try avoiding alcoholic beverages too often which cause bad breath.
- Tobacco and its products are also players in causing bad odor
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Rinse your mouth with Chloride and Zinc containing mouth washes.
- If dry mouth is the culprit, drink plenty of water or chew sugar free gums to stimulate the salivary flow.
- Clean your dentures regularly by a disinfecting solution and treat existing tooth decay
- Last but not least , periodic visits to your dentist twice annually will help to keep bad breath at bay.
Bad breath results from poor health and may also be a sign of other health problems or unhealthy life style. Therefore, maintenance of a good level of general and oral health is the only mantra in combating it.