What is Bad Breath?
Millions of bacteria live in the mouth, particularly on the back of the tongue. In many people, they are the primary causes of bad breath. The mouth’s warm, moist conditions are ideal for the growth of these bacteria. Most bad breath is caused by something in the mouth. Bad breath is breath that has an unpleasant odor. It’s also known as halitosis. This odor can occur from time to time, or it can be long lasting, depending on the cause and needs your attention with your dentists care to cure.
Some types of bad breath are considered to be fairly normal. They usually are not health concerns. One example is “morning mouth.” This occurs because of changes in your mouth while you sleep. During the day, saliva washes away decaying food and odors. The body makes less saliva at night. Your mouth becomes dry, and dead cells stick to your tongue and to the inside of your cheeks. When bacteria use these cells for food, they produce a foul odor.
Not all sufferers of chronic halitosis are aware of their condition. Though awkward, one of the best ways to tell if you have halitosis is to ask a friend. Dentists are generally poorly informed about halitosis causes and halitosis treatment; however some dental offices now have equipment that can detect VSC levels in the breath.
Your dentist will review your medical history for conditions that can cause bad breath and for medicines that can cause dry mouth. Your dentist also will ask you about your diet, personal habits (smoking, chewing tobacco) and any symptoms. He or she also will ask who noticed the bad breath and when.
Your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, mouth and salivary glands. He or she also will feel your head and neck and will evaluate your breath when you exhale from your nose and from your mouth.
Your dentist may refer you to your family physician if an illness is the most likely cause. In severe cases of gumdisease, your dentist may suggest that you see a periodontist (dentist who specializes in gum problems).
Bad breath caused by dental problems can be prevented easily with proper home and professional care.
- Brush your teeth, tongue and gums after meals and floss daily. This is the most important factor if your bad breath is caused by dental problems
- If your dentist recommends it, rinse with a mouthwash approved by the American Dental Association (ADA)
- Visit the dentist regularly (at least twice a year) for an exam and tooth cleaning.
You also can combat bad breath by drinking plenty of water every day to help your body make saliva. An occasional swish of the mouth with water can loosen bits of food. Sugar-free gum or sugar-free breath mints can help you keep breath fresh and prevent plaque from forming. But be aware that consuming large amounts of sugar-free gum and/or mints that contain sorbitol may cause side effects. These can include diarrhea and bloating.
Care and Treatment:
Before looking for bad breath treatments, it is necessary that you are aware of what is causing your condition. If you are, then here are some treatments available for you:
- Brushing your teeth after each meal can help you get rid of your breath problem. Flossing your teeth and cleaning your tongue are some of the best bad breath treatments as well.
- Rinsing your mouth using diluted hydrogen peroxide can help get rid of bacteria inside the mouth. You can also add baking soda into a glass of water and use it for gargling.
- Decreased saliva and dry mouth can also cause breath odor so make sure that you consume sufficient amount of water daily.
- Drinking fenugreek seeds in the form of tea is also helpful against breath problems.
- Considered as one of the best bad breath treatments available are guava leaves. Chewing guava leaves or even unripe guavas can help treat breath issues.
- You can also prepare your own mouthwash solution at home. If you have parsley, for example, mix it in to two cups of water and a pinch of ground cloves. Let the mixture boil for several seconds and allow it to cool down before using it.
These are just some of the treatments that you can try if you are suffering from foul breath. If your breath condition is due to mouth problems, make sure to consult your dentist immediately. However, if you think that your breath issue is due to an underlying medical condition, it would be best to consult your physician first to determine the main cause and to find the right treatment for it.