Halitosis – Causes and Prevention

‘Halitosis’ is the medical term used for bad breath or ‘fetor oris’. This condition arises in a person when they experience the presence of bacteria below the gum line, at the back of their tongue or due to other ailments in their lungs, stomachs, throat, nasal cavity and other organs.

Bad breath is also caused from poor food habits, tobacco addiction or dry mouth. Appropriate oral health eliminates bad breath, which further relieves you from tooth decay and gum diseases.

halitosis causes and prevention

What Causes Halitosis?

The following instances cause bad breath:

1. Food

If you do not clean your mouth after a meal then the remains of the food cause bad odour or may even support bacterial growth resulting in tooth decay and gum problems. Garlic, cheese, onion, fish and coffee consumption cause halitosis. There are instances when gastric problems of the stomach lead to foul odour. Low carbohydrate diets causes ‘ketone breath’ that produces bad breath when exhaled.

2. Dry Mouth

Often breathing from mouth, medications and salivary gland issues bring dryness to our mouth. Saliva present in the mouth has an important function in the digestive system of our body and removes the particles that cause bad smell. If the amount of saliva is absent or low, then the condition of ‘xerostomia’ or ‘dry mouth’ arises.

3. Intake of Tobacco

All tobacco products like cigarettes and other tobacco based herbs not only cause bad breath but also stain teeth, reduce your food taste, bother the gums and increase tooth decay.

4. Medical Ailments

Medical disorders like liver disease, throat infection, gum infection, diabetes, and severe bronchitis or kidney diseases generate bad breath.

5. Dentures

Braces are dental appliances that may allow food particles to remain in the mouth if not cleansed in a proper manner. The remains of food particles gradually form bacteria and generate bad breath.

6. Morning Breath

Many a time, dryness in the mouth during night cause bad breath in the morning. In addition, there are possibilities when your mouth is not washed thoroughly after dinner, leaving behind food crumbs leading to bad breath.

Determining the Symptom of Halitosis

Most of the time, people who face the issue of Halitosis are unaware of the condition themselves. For those who realize the condition persisting feel quite embarrassed to share this issue with others or fear from being identified as one who is ailing from bad breath disease.

Bad breaths occur in people differently as the causes of their bad breath are of varied factors. Learning the symptoms will help in its treatment. Smell of bad breath, sour taste or changes in taste, dry mouth, a layer on the tongue are all signs of halitosis.

How can Halitosis be Reduced or Prevented?

Treatment of Halitosis includes the following:

  • Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth after every meal and rinsing with mouthwash. Regularly clean your braces after removing them at night. Change your toothbrushe every three months.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups.
  • Cease smoking habits.
  • Consume a lot of water to keep your mouth moistened.
  • Keep a track on the food and medications you intake.

Thus, Halitosis is not a critical medical condition but tends to create more displeasure. Its treatment is quite simple and affordable.


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