Bad breath in medical terms is called Halitosis. Bad breath is a condition in which bad odor from mouth due to the presence of bacteria in mouth. Poor oral hygiene causes bad breath. Bad breath is also due the foods we take. Some times this may be due to side effect of some medications.
Causes of bad breath:
- Xerostomia – Dryness of mouth. This leads to development of bacteria in mouth causes bad breath.
- Poor oral hygiene- Improper cleaning of mouth leads to bad breath
- Some foods and drinks we take gives bad breath like garlic, onions. This is temporary.
- Some medicines also have side effect of bad breath
- Smoking also causes bad breath
- Disorders like diabetes, liver dysfunction
- If food gets clogged in the teeth leads to plaque in mouth causes bad breath
- If you wear dentures, Improper cleaning of dentures also causes bad breath
- Morning bad breath- This is a condition in which unpleasant odor from mouth after night sleep. During night time the mouth becomes dry due to decrease in the flow of saliva. This leads to growth of bacteria and gives bad odor.
Symptoms of bad breath:
- Stains on teeth due to smoking
- Dryness of mouth
- Symptoms of systemic illness of diabetes, liver diseases.
- Tooth decay
Diagnosis of bad breath:
Bad breath problem is diagnosed by the odor coming from the mouth. If fruity smell from mouth is a symptom of diabetes, Urine smell is due to dysfunction of kidney. Doctor will physically examine mouth for cause of bad breath if it is due to any dental problems. Based on these blood tests, Urine tests, X-ray on chests are taken to diagnose the bad breath problem.
Remedies for bad breath:
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush twice daily, flossing between teeth, cleaning of tongue makes your mouth healthy.
- Foods and drinks: Avoid eating sticky foods. It may get stuck into your teeth and causes bad breath. Avoid eating acidic foods. These may dissolve the enamel from teeth leads to dental problems. These causes bad breath. If the bad breath is due to onions or garlic, limit or avoid those.
- Smoking: Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco products to prevent bad breath.
- Mouth washes: Use mouth washes to rinse your mouth to give fresh breath. Natural remedy like chewing mint also gives freshen breath. Rinse your mouth after meals to remove any food particles that is stuck.
- Chewing gums: Chewing sugar free gums increases saliva flow leads to cleaning of mouth.
- Clean your dentures properly before wearing. If bad breath is due to dry mouth, use saliva substitutes to increase saliva secretions.
- If it is due to usage of some drugs which have a side effect of bad breath, ask your doctor to change the medicines.