Get Rid of Bad Breath The Easy Way
Halitosis is a Latin word which derived from halitus (breathed air) and the osis (pathologic alteration), and it is used to describe any disagreeable bad or unpleasant odor emanating from the mouth air and breath. People interact with each other every day, and halitosis has a negative effect on a person’s social life. The person who has halitosis may not be aware of this situation because this person may have developed tolerance or olfactory disturbance.
The actual research done into the prevalence of halitosis is still very limited. A number of studies performed suggest a prevalence of oral malodor ranging from 2% to 49%. The inconsistent results are probably due to diverse methods and criteria to measure and to define oral malodor employed in different studies.Moderate chronic halitosis is common in one-third of the population, and the rest are affected by halitosis at least during a part of the day (morning mouth/morning halitosis is widely prevalent). Severe halitosis affects less than 5% of the population.
WHAT CAUSES BAD BREATH?
A person can have temporary or permanent bad breath due to a number of reasons, including diet, medication, poor oral hygiene, and system conditions such as diabetes, gum disease, GERD and many more. So it is important to rule out the cause before following a treatment regime. [restrict] Let us discuss some of the more prevalent causes of bad breath before looking into ways to resolve it:
DIETARY HABITS: Certain dietarysubstances like garlic, onion some other spicy foods have a strong odor. After being absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion, they are transferred to the lungs, and eventually exhaled into air which results in a chronic bad breath.
People who are following a “Low-Carb Diet” routine may also develop a characteristic ‘Ketone Breath’. On low carbohydrates in diet, the body responds by burning fats in order to meet its energy requirements. This cycle of burning fats to supplement extra energy results in a fruity acetone like odor on the breath when the person exhales.
POOR TONGUE CLEANING: Bad Breath can arise from the patients even with good oral hygiene and the source is from the posterior dorsum of tongue.People with regular tooth brushing habit also tend to ignore cleaning their tongue. The wide, papillary surface area of tongue has the potential to retain large amounts of microorganisms, cells and other constituents, which can facilitate putrefaction thus resulting in a bad breath.
SYSTEMIC DISEASES: Patients suffering from different long term medical conditions can present with different odor on the patient’s breath; Diabetic patients have a Fruity or citrusy breath, Asthmatics have an Acidic breath, Kidney problems can cause the scent of ammonia in patient’s breath while bowel obstruction can result in a Fecal odor.
GUM DISEASES: About 10% of the population with severe periodontitis is accompanied by bad breath. The spaces created between the teeth and the gums act as site of entrapment of food for the people with periodontitis and eventually bacteria acts on these entrapped food substances, producing odoriferous substances.Also, people with gingivitis and periodontitis have a tendency to bleed from the gums. This will initially impart an iron or metallic smell and later as the blood decomposes; a more foul smell is produced.
DRY MOUTH: Xerostomic conditions cause reduction in salivary flow which causes a negative effect on the self-cleansing action of saliva. This produces odoriferous volatile compounds giving a characteristic bad breath. Xerostomia can result from dehydration, salivary gland diseases, certain drugs and mouth breathing.
SMOKING AND TOBACCO: Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products wreaks havoc on your body and your breath. They also stain teeth, irritate gums and reduce your ability to taste foods. Smokers have a dry mouth resulting in xerostomic conditions and its associated problems as discussed above.
DENTAL PROSTHESES OR BRACES: Dentures or dental appliances can be a source of food stagnation. Food particles that are not properly cleaned from appliances can rot or cause bacteria and malodor. Also ill-fitting denture prostheses or irritating badly fabricated orthodontic appliance can contribute to soreness or localized infections in the mouth, which can also be a cause of bad breath.
HOW TO RESOLVE BAD BREATH?
The treatment of bad breath depends on the cause; once you have found out the specific cause related to your problem of halitosis you are already halfway there. There are a number of remedies that can help effectively tackle the menace of bad breath;
- BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY: The most practical solution to majority of your oral health related problems is in your own hands. Set up a proper oral hygiene routine both in the morning and before going to bed at night. Use ADA recommended fluoride toothpaste and follow a ‘2 into 2’ routine for brushing which means 2 times a day for at least 2 minutes each time. An ultrasonic toothbrush is also a good choice. Also remember to change your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or sooner if the bristles get worn out.
Another very important step is to Floss your teeth. Tooth brushing can remove the plaque and food particles from most of the area but it lacks the efficacy to clean those hard to reach areas between your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth at least once a day with an interdental cleaner (like floss).
This will help relieve bad breath caused by foods a person has eaten and also help avoid any gum diseases that could cause halitosis.
- KEEP YOUR TONGUE CLEAN: Tongue Cleaners and Scrapers should be used every night before going to bed. Several studies have demonstrated that reducing bacteria on the dorsum of the tongue will diminish bad breath. A study concluded that tongue cleaning was one of the most important approaches for halitosis.
Brushing your tongue can help keep the surface clean, but adding a tongue scraper to your oral hygiene will be much more effective. Research published in Journal of American Dental Association (2001) also showed the importance of tongue cleaning; reduction of volatile sulfur compounds levels, that cause bad breath, was found with the toothbrush 33%, with the tongue scraper 40%, and with the tongue cleaner 42%.
- AVOID UNHEALTHY FOODS: Incorporate a healthy balanced diet into your routine and avoid extreme fasting habits. Stay away from garlic, onions and other spicy foods. Pick up fresh fruits and vegetables instead like carrots, apple, celery etc. A healthy diet will cleanse your system from all the junk food and also give you a fresh breathe.
- DRINK LOTS OF WATER: Human body is highly dependent on water. If you’re not drinking enough water, your salivary flow will decrease resulting in a dry mouth. Saliva also plays an important role in cleansing your mouth. Without saliva the oral bacteria thrive and hence result in developing bad breath.
It is the same mechanism at work that results in the notorious ‘Morning Breath’. As your mouth stays dry during sleep, this results in a typical bad breath when you wake up in the morning. Always keep a water bottle with you and aim at having at least 8 glasses of water per day.
- USE SUGAR-FREE GUM: Chewing gum regularly stimulates the saliva secretion thus helping in keeping your mouth moist. Using an ADA recommended sugar free gum keeps your breath fresh and also gives a massaging effect to the TMJ. Xylitol containing gums have also been found affective in reducing caries onset.
- AVOID TOBACCO PRODUCTS: If you are a smoker, one of the biggest favors you can do to yourself and your family is to quit smoking. The hazards of smoking and chewing tobacco products have been studied extensively.
Once you decide to quit using tobacco products there a number of personal and professional options you can use. One way to tame the urge to use tobacco is the use of over-the-counter nicotine patches. You can also consider becoming part of a quit smoking program or using prescription medications that can help you get rid of this addiction for good.
- VISIT YOUR DENTIST: Make a habit of visiting your dentist after every 6 months for routine checkup. After taking proper history and doing a thorough examination your dentist can assess your oral health and help find you reach the actual cause for bad breath.
Dentist will rule out any dental cause and need for treatment like scaling and polishing for tartar, fixing an ill fitting denture or any orthodontic appliance that might be a source of food stagnation. The dentist will also determine the need to refer you to a medical physician if he suspects any underlying systemic condition that might be the cause of chronic bad breath.
Bad breath ad halitosis is a common problem impacting individuals at all ages and social groups. There can be a number of factors that result in bad breath and it is important to objectively assess the situation and manage it accordingly. Since majority of halitosis is related to the mouth, regular oral hygiene maintenance and routine visits to the dentist should be sufficient to fix the problem. Developing healthy dietary habits, staying hydrated and getting rid of addictions like smoking are steps that you need to adopt to permanently fix the problem of halitosis. [/restrict]