Are you embarrassed because of bad breath or halitosis? Do you want to know why you are having bad breath? It’s quite possible that you are having bad breath but you don’t know about it as it is difficult to assess your own smell. Your friends and family members may not tell you about it to avoid embarrassment. So ask them to confirm about your bad breath.
Bad breath sometimes becomes a social stigma and a reason for psychological trauma as people start avoiding you. Halitosis is caused due to certain foods, habits, and health conditions. You can get rid of your bad breath with consistent oral hygiene measures. But if self-care doesn’t solve the problem then see your dentist or physician for the solution to halitosis.
CAUSES OF BAD BREATH / HALITOSIS
Smokers have bad breath due to tobacco commonly known as smoker’s breath. The cigarettes, pipes, and cigars release smoke that stays in the throat and lungs. This smoke can lead to stale odor and other oral health problems. They are also more susceptible to gum diseases due to smoking. Along with bad breath, smoking leads to staining of teeth and an increased risk of periodontal disease. All these effects along with halitosis can affect your self-esteem.
Chewing on tobacco causes drying of the mouth and bad breath. Tobacco chewers are more likely to have irritated gums and oral cancer, too. So tobacco itself along with gum disease causes halitosis, which can embarrass you.
Eating certain foods like onion, garlic, and a few spices can cause bad breath. All these foods have smelly sulfur compounds that get absorbed in the bloodstream and get expelled when you exhale. These foods have an adverse effect on your breath, especially if you eat them at late night.
POOR ORAL HYGIENE
If you don’t brush and floss regularly after meals, then food particles can remain in your mouth and can cause bad breath. A sticky layer of bacteria called plaque sticks on your teeth. If not brushed properly, the accumulation of plaque and tartar can lead to the formation of pockets and a disease called periodontitis (pyorrhea). Periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of chronic bad breath or halitosis.
THE TONGUE IS NOT CLEANED
If you don’t clean your tongue properly, then the tongue can trap bacteria that produce odors leading to bad breath. Halitosis is mainly caused due to sulfur-producing bacteria which are present in the throat and on the surface of the tongue.
Dry mouth or xerostomia is a condition in which the production of saliva decreases. Saliva helps to wash away food particles and keeps the mouth clean so less saliva causes bad breath. Chronic dry mouth can be caused due to problems in salivary glands or due to less water intake. Xerostomia is commonly seen in the aging population due to the side effects of prescription drugs taken by them, especially for cancers, hypertension, and depression.
Pregnant females or nursing mothers can also develop dry mouth because of hormonal changes and dehydration. Other factors that cause halitosis include stress, depression, and anxiety.
Most people naturally breathe through their noses. But some people are born as mouth breathers or develop mouth breathing later in life. If you sleep with your mouth open, then it leads to a dry mouth and bad breath. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep called ‘’morning breath” as salivary production decreases overnight as you sleep. The problem of halitosis increases much fold if a person is a mouth breather.
Bad breath may be caused due to an infection in the mouth like oral ulcers, tooth decay, gum disease, etc. It may be caused due to a wound after oral surgery like the extraction of a tooth.
Some medications including those for hypertension, antidepressants, antihistaminics, diuretics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories cause dry mouth. These medicines indirectly contribute to the problem of bad breath. Some medicines can break down in the body and they release chemicals causing bad breath. Radiation treatment for cancer can also cause bad breath.
MOUTH, NOSE, AND THROAT INFECTIONS
Infections in the nose, throat, or sinus ( upper respiratory tract infections) can cause bad breath. Bad breath can sometimes be due to small stone formation in the tonsils which got covered with bacteria that produce odor. Other diseases like diabetic ketoacidosis, end-stage renal failure, sleep apnoea, autoimmune disorders, or lung infections can also cause halitosis.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or chronic reflux of acids can cause bad breath. Some metabolic disorders or cancers can cause a peculiar breath odor due to the chemicals they produce.
ALCOHOL AND COFFEE
Alcohol and coffee both create a favorable environment for the growth of bacteria. They also have a drying effect which decreases the flow of saliva and allows foul-smelling bacteria to linger longer. Alcohol and coffee both lead to halitosis commonly.
WHEN TO SEE A DENTIST FOR BAD BREATH/ HALITOSIS
If you have bad breath, then try to make some changes in your lifestyle like
Start brushing your teeth after meals
Using dental floss daily
Cleaning your tongue properly with a tongue scraper
Drinking lots of water.
If you want to know more about the home remedies for bad breath, read more
Be sure to visit your dentist for regular cleaning not only to keep your teeth sparkling white but also to ensure that there is no other health issue.
If your problem of bad breath doesn’t solve after making these changes, then it is time to see your dentist. Your dentist may refer you to a physician if any serious condition is suspected. Whatever may be the reason for your bad breath, remember there is always a solution to make your breath fresh and easy.
If you are suffering from any such issue, contact Shubham dental clinic in Hisar.
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