Oral halitosis. What is it?
The Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is defined as the set of unpleasant odors from the mouth. This is a problem that affects 1 in 2 and can have adverse effects on relationships, emotional and social as well as professional.
Different forms of halitosis
There are two types depending on halitosis originates: halitosis oral and extra-oral halitosis. Numerous scientific studies confirm that in 90% of cases, the bad smell comes from the oral cavity and is mainly due (in 41% of cases) to the accumulation of biofilm (plaque) on the tongue, but perhaps also associated with periodontal disease (caries, periodontitis, etc.).
The extra-oral halitosis (10% of cases) is caused by chronic diseases, diseases of the lower upper respiratory /, digestive system, and liver or kidney problems.
Why bad breath does occur?
Most halitosis is oral origin, and are due to the emission of volatile sulfur compounds (CVS) from gram-negative anaerobic bacteria that cause bad odor. Factors such as reduced salivary flow or accumulation of food between the teeth also play a role. Changes in alkaline content of salivary pH and oxygen reduction result in the emission of CVS cause bad odor.
Many people are not aware of suffering from this disease. This is why it is difficult to detect and diagnose therefore.
Yeast infections of the mouth, which are most common among denture-wearers, can spell trouble for your breath, and so can xerostomia – a condition more commonly known as dry mouth. Saliva is a great cleanser, so if you don’t have enough saliva, those potent food particles are more likely to stick around.
Smoking and chewing tobacco can also do wonders to stink up your breath, so add halitosis to the lengthy list of reasons to kick those bad and deadly habits. Bad breath has also been linked to medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney and liver disease, lung and sinus infections and bronchitis, according to the American Dental Association.
Oral halitosis is a condition caused by different factors.
May have originated from dental disease or bacteria:
– Accumulation of plaque (41%).
– Caries, gingivitis and periodontitis.
– Dry mouth, ulcers, mouth ulcers and cellulitis.
Factors of oral halitosis would be induced by certain eating habits:
– After consuming alcohol, coffee, tea, etc.
– After smoking.
– After ingesting certain foods (such as spicy foods, garlic, onions).
Other possible causes:
– Certain drugs (antidepressants, antihistamines, antihypertensives, anxiolytics (antipanic drugs), etc.).
– Chronic diseases (diabetes, liver and lung diseases).
– In the morning upon waking.
– Long periods of fasting.
– Periods of stress.
– A failure in swallowing liquids.
-Crash dieting ( Can cause a sickly sweet smell on the breath. This is due to chemicals called ketones being made by the breakdown of fat. Some ketones are then breathed out with each breath_Low-Carb diets can cause bad breath)
To reduce bad breath, help avoid cavities and lower your risk of gum disease, consistently practice good oral hygiene. Further treatment for bad breath can vary, depending on the cause. If your bad breath is thought to be caused by an underlying health condition, your dentist will likely refer you to your primary care physician.
For causes related to oral health, your dentist will work with you to help you better control that condition. Dental measures may include:
- Mouth rinses and toothpastes. If your bad breath is due to a buildup of bacteria (plaque) on your teeth, your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse that kills the bacteria. Mouth rinses containing cetylpyridinium chloride and those with chlorhexidine can prevent production of odors that cause bad breath. Your dentist may also recommend a toothpaste that contains an antibacterial agent to kill the bacteria that cause plaque buildup.
- Treatment of dental disease. If your dentist discovers that you have gum disease, you may be referred to a gum specialist (periodontist). Gum disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, leaving deep pockets that accumulate odor-causing bacteria.
To reduce or prevent bad breath:
- Brush your teeth after you eat. Keep a toothbrush at work to use after eating. Brush using a fluoride-containing toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after meals. Toothpaste with antibacterial properties has been shown to reduce bad breath odors.
- Floss at least once a day. Proper flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth, helping to control bad breath.
- Brush your tongue. Your tongue harbors bacteria, so carefully brushing it may help reduce odors. People who have a coated tongue from a significant overgrowth of bacteria (from smoking or dry mouth, for example) may benefit from using a tongue scraper. Or use a toothbrush that has a built-in tongue cleaner.
- Clean your dentures or dental appliances. If you wear a bridge or a partial or complete denture, clean it thoroughly at least once a day or as directed by your dentist. If you have a dental retainer or mouth guard, clean it each time before you put it in your mouth. Your dentist can recommend the best cleaning product.
- Avoid dry mouth. To keep your mouth moist, avoid tobacco and drink plenty of water — not coffee, soft drinks or alcohol, which can lead to a drier mouth. Chew gum or suck on candy — preferably sugarless — to stimulate saliva.
Suck on sugarless mints. In particular, those that contain Xylitol also kill bacteria and can prevent cavities.
If you have chronic dry mouth, your dentist or physician may prescribe an artificial saliva preparation or an oral medication that stimulates the flow of saliva.
- Adjust your diet. Avoid food and beverages that can cause bad breath. Avoid sticky, sugary foods.
- Regularly get a new toothbrush. Change your toothbrush when it becomes frayed, about every three to four months, and choose a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Schedule regular dental checkups. See your dentist on a regular basis — generally once or twice a year — to have your teeth or dentures examined and cleaned.
My name is Tunesha Mohabeer , Dental Surgeon/ Dentist at Ebene Mauritius. I love writing and reading. My patients call me Dr. Nesha. I have a passion for the work I do, I believe that dentistry is science combined with art and physics. I studied Stomatology in People's Republic of China, stomatology is basically half medicine and half dentistry after having completed my secondary education Cambridge O'Levels and A'Levels at the Queen Elizabeth College, Rose Hill. I am thankful to having chosen this field because I meet people from all walks of life, and we develop a friendly relationship. I hope toothandtips is helpful and please do not hesitate to comment and message. Thank you