Bad breath treatment

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Bad breath treatment

What is halitosis?

Halitosis is an oral health problem where the main symptom is bad smelling breath. In most cases, finding the cause of the bad breath is the first step toward treating this preventable condition.

What causes bad breath?

There are many causes of bad breath, just as there are many sources of bacteria in the mouth. Halitosis may be caused by the following:

  • Certain foods. The things you eat are linked to your oral health, including your breath. Items such as garlic and onions, or any food, are absorbed into the bloodstream. Until that food leaves the body, it has the potential to affect your breath.
  • Poor oral health care. Without correct and regular brushing and flossing, and routine dental exams, food remains in the mouth. This is a breeding ground for bacteria. Food that collects on the teeth, gums, and tongue may rot. This causes an unpleasant odor and taste in the mouth.
  • Improper cleaning of dentures. Dentures that are not cleaned correctly may be collecting bacteria, fungi, and remaining food particles, which cause bad breath.
  • Odor-causing bacteria on the tongue. Certain bacteria on the back of the tongue can interact with amino acids in foods and produce smelly sulfur compounds.
  • Periodontal disease. One of the main symptoms of this gum disease is bad-smelling breath, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. This condition needs immediate care by an oral health professional.
  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia). This condition is often a key part of halitosis. When there is a major decrease in saliva production, the mouth can’t cleanse itself and remove debris and particles left behind by food. Dry mouth may be caused by certain medicines, a salivary gland disorder, or by always breathing through the mouth instead of the nose.
  • Tobacco products. Tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and snuff stain the teeth and put the body at risk for a host of diseases. But they also help cause bad breath. Tobacco users also are at higher risk for the following:
    • Periodontal disease
    • Loss of ability to taste
    • Irritated gums
    • Oral cancer
  • A health condition. Bad breath may be a symptom of any of the following conditions. See your healthcare provider for  a diagnosis:
    • A respiratory infection
      • Infection of the nose, windpipe, or lungs
      • Chronic bronchitis
      • Postnasal drip
      • Chronic sinusitis
    • Diabetes
    • A gastrointestinal disorder
    • A liver or kidney disorder