or bad breath is the condition when breath has an unpleasant odor.
Halitosis is an embarrassing social problem more than it is a dental health problem.
The problem with people who suffer from halitosis is that they don’t know it unless somebody tells them. But others who come close to them certainly know. Cleaning your teeth usually helps but it won’t always stop bad breath. - Download ' The Bad Breath Bible' absolutely free e-book about bad breath.
The causes of halitosis / bad breathChronic halitosis is an oral health problem mainly caused by excessive amount of volatile sulfur compounds (thiols) that give breath its foul odor.
Food. Eating foods containing volatile sulfur compounds, like garlic and onions or some spices, is one of the most common causes of temporary halitosis. After these foods are digested, the sulfur compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream, they're carried to the lungs and exit from the body during exhale, causing bad breath.
Poor dental hygiene. Infrequent or improper brushing and flossing can leave food particles to decay inside the mouth. Their breakdown can cause a foul odor.
Dental problems. Periodontal disease or an abscess at the base of a tooth can be the causes of halitosis due to bacteria emitting hydrogen sulfur vapors.
Dry mouth (xerostomia) . Saliva helps cleanse and moisten the mouth. A dry mouth enables the accumulation of dead cells on tongue, gums and cheeks. These cells then decompose and cause odor. Even for a short period of time like sleep, the reduce of saliva flow makes the mouth dry causing what is called 'morning breath'.
Systemic diseases. Several illnesses can cause a distinctive breath odor. Kidney failure can cause a urine-like odor and diabetes may cause a fruity breath odor. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), liver failure or lung infections also can cause bad breath.
Systemic diseases and dry mouth are the most common causes of chronic halitosis.
Smoking is another common cause of chronic halitosis, as it dries out the mouth and causes unpleasant mouth odor.
Dieting and fasting may cause unpleasant "fruity" breath due to ketosis or ketoacidosis.
Other dental problems and treatments:
ADA.org: Oral Health Topics: Bad Breath (Halitosis)
University of Maryland - Oral Health - Halitosis
Prevention of Bad Breath - Halitosis treatmentIf you are looking for a cure for halitosis, try the following bad breath remedies :
Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush properly every morning and after every meal to remove bacteria from the teeth and cure halitosis. Proper flossing, at least once a day, removes food particles and dental plaque from between the teeth.
Proper diet. Be careful with what you eat, avoid foods like onions and garlic.
Increase saliva flow. Saliva acts as nature's mouthwash by keeping the mouth moist, washing away left-over food particles and bacteria, and dissolving foul smelling volatile sulfur compounds.
Drink a lot of water to keep your mouth moist and stimulate saliva flow, making the mouth less hospitable to odor causing bacteria.
Chew sugarless gums. Chewing action helps cleanse the teeth, stimulates the flow of saliva and freshen breath.
Use mouthwashes containing chlorine dioxide which attack and neutralize the sulfur compounds. Conventional mouthwashes mask bad breath odor only temporarily.
Brush your tongue. It has been found that almost 50% of the bacteria which cause halitosis reside on the tongue. Use a soft bristled toothbrush or a special device called a tongue cleaner (or tongue scraper) to gently clean the tongue.
Have a dental check up every 6 months. Your dentist can diagnose other problems which cause bad breath as abscesses, periodontal disease or systemic diseases. Visit your dentist if you start to have a chronic halitosis problem.
Increased attention on diet and oral hygiene can usually be an easy cure for halitosis, but in case of a chronic halitosis problem the required bad breath treatment might be much more difficult.