Bad breath, also known as Halitosis can be embarrassing and can cause anxiety. It’s not surprising that the store shelves are filled with mints, gum mouthwashes, mints and other items specifically designed to treat bad breath. However, many of these products are only temporary remedies since they don’t tackle the root cause of the problem.
Certain foods, conditions, and habits are among the factors that cause bad smells. In many instances, it is possible to improve bad breath by ensuring you maintain good dental hygiene. If these self-care strategies do not solve the issue, visit your dentist or a physician to ensure that the issue isn’t the cause of your bad breath.
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Odours of bad smell vary according to the source or the root reason. Some people fret about their breath, even having only a slight or no odour of their mouth or bad breath, and aren’t aware that it’s there. Since it’s hard to determine how your breath smells you should ask a trusted family member or friend to confirm the smell of your breath.
When should you see a doctor for your bad breath?
If you’re experiencing bad breath, you should review your dental hygiene routine. Consider making changes to your lifestyle by brushing your tongue and teeth after meals by using dental floss and taking plenty of fluids.
If your bad breath persists after making such changes, see your dentist.
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The most common cause of the bad smell is in the mouth. There are numerous possibilities for the cause. These include:
Food- The breakdown of food particles inside and around your teeth could increase the number of bacteria in your mouth and create a foul smell. Consuming certain foods, like garlic, onions and other spices can also cause bad breath. Once you’ve digested these foods, they are absorbed into your bloodstream and may cause bad air.
Smoking tobacco products- Smoking causes its own mouth odour that is unpleasant. Smokers and those who use oral tobacco are more likely to develop foul smells.
Poor hygiene in the dental area- A major cause of bad breath
If you don’t clean your teeth and floss regularly food particles can remain in your mouth and cause a bad Smell. A sticky, colourless film composed of bacteria (plaque) develops around your teeth. If it’s not cleaned away the plaque may irritate the gums, and eventually create pockets of plaque between your gums and teeth (periodontitis). Your tongue can also trap bacteria that cause unpleasant odours. If your dentures aren’t maintained regularly or aren’t fitted correctly can be a breeding ground for bacteria that cause odours and food particles.
Dry mouth- Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, getting rid of substances that can cause bad odours. It is also known as xerostomia could contribute to foul smell. Dry mouth occurs naturally when you sleep, resulting in “morning breath”. A dry mouth that is persistent can be caused by problems with the salivary glands or certain diseases.
Medicines- Some medications can indirectly cause bad breath by causing dry mouth. Some medications are broken down by the body, releasing chemicals that are then absorbed into your breath.
Mouth infections- Bad breath can result from dental surgery-related wounds like a tooth removal or because of gum disease, or mouth sores.
Other noses, mouth and throat disorders. Bad smell can sometimes be caused by small, granular stones that build up in the tonsils. They are covered by bacteria that cause the smell. Inflammation or chronic infections of the sinuses, nose or throat, may cause a bad smell.
Another cause- Diseases, such as cancers and diseases like metabolic disorders, can trigger distinct breath odours because of the chemicals they create. Acid reflux that is chronic in the stomach (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD) can be linked to foul air. Children who have bad smell could be the result of food particles stuck in the nostril.