Halitosis or oral malodour is medical terminology for bad breath. Most of us have experienced this in the early morning immediately after we wake up. But, sometimes due to certain reasons, the foul odour persists. Here we will know about the causes, symptoms, treatment.
WHAT CAUSES BAD BREATH?
There is a wide range of causes for halitosis. Some of them are:
Poor oral hygiene
This is the most common cause as we think brushing is enough to maintain good oral health. But that is not the only thing that keeps your breath minty fresh. The food we eat sometimes adheres on to the tongue. Most of us forget to clean the tongue regularly. About 70% of the bad breath is due to poor cleaning of the tongue.
Dry mouth can be caused by various underlying health conditions like diabetes, also as an adverse effect of certain drugs. As the saliva helps in keeping our oral cavity clean, its absence leads to the accumulation of food particles in the spaces between the teeth and thus causing the bad breath.
Some health issues like liver malfunction, lung conditions like lung cancer, bronchiectasis, upper respiratory infections, etc. Also, some kidney diseases also cause oral malodour due to release of certain metabolites. Other conditions like sinusitis, postnasal drip, tonsillitis(stones in the tonsils), etc also cause bad breath.
Foods containing onion, garlic, and some spices also lead to bad breath for a short period.
Habits like smoking and drinking alcohol, cause malodour as they contain certain components that lead to decreased salivary production, in turn, causing halitosis.
It means that whatever you eat gets stuck in the cavities of your teeth if any or else in the spaces between your teeth if your gums have receded.
HOW TO TREAT
The treatment of halitosis as of now is not well defined. Following some of the steps below will help reduce the bad breath to some extent:
- Brushing twice daily.
- Flossing once daily.
- Using mouth rinses with hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine, etc.
- Thorough rinsing of the mouth after each meal.
- Most importantly, diagnosing the underlying systemic diseases if any is necessary
- Do not forget to visit your dentist once in 6 months for general scaling and polishing.
ROLE OF MOUTHWASH IN HALITOSIS:
Mouthwashes are one of the most useful remedies in treating halitosis/bad breath. Those mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine help in killing the bacteria in your mouth which cause the foul smell. Thus using it regularly, helps in reducing the bad breath.
AYURVEDIC OR HOME REMEDY FOR BAD BREATH:
- Rinse your mouth regularly with warm salt water along with a pinch of turmeric.
- Chew few cardamom seeds or anise seeds once a day.
- Include yoghurt in your diet every day as it is a rich source of probiotic bacteria which helps in reducing the load of malodour causing bacteria in your mouth and also your gut.
- Water is the most important yet most ignored medicine for bad breath. Drinking adequate amount of water as per your BMI helps clear the mouth of minute food particles stuck in between the teeth and also the gut, thus helping in the prevention of bad breath from the stomach.
- Rinsing with mint water gives a feeling of fresh breath and it stays for longer hours. Boil 5-10 mint leaves in 500 ml of water and use this mint water first thing in the morning and as many times as possible in the day.
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