Halitosis (bad breath)

Halitosis (bad breath)

The main reason of bad breath is the bacterial decay of the chemical substances in the mouth. Halitosis can be divided mainly in two groups: transitory halitosis (anyone can have bad breath after ingesting certain foods such as garlic, onion and spicy foods) which is a common condition somewhat, and chronic halitosis, which can have very different origins and should be controlled.

Halitosis is a health problem which affects with greater or lesser intensity 50% of the population at some point in their lives.

Bad oral hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath. In such cases, a simple change in the hygienic habits can help many people to solve their bad breath condition. The change includes regular tooth brushing after main meals, flossing and at least an annual visit to the dentist in order to do a check-up and a more comprehensive cleaning.  Specific brushes for the tongue can also be helpful.

Certain diseases can cause chronic bad breath, producing each of them a characteristic smell. Dental pathologies, diabetes, anorexia, sinusitis, pharyngitis and certain stomach diseases are common reasons of bad breath.

Certain medicines such as antihistamines and antidepressants and also inappropriate dental prostheses can result in bad breath too.

Another common cause of bad breath is the dryness of the mouth. Patients with chronic dry mouth nearly always suffer halitosis and, basically, any circumstances causing a lack of saliva or mouth dryness can lead to bad breath.

That is why bad breath in the morning is very common, as during the night less saliva is produced. Also it is common in stress periods, in people who breath through the mouth and in smokers.

A weakened salivary function also damages gum health and increases the likelihood of suffering periodontal diseases.

In some cases, masticating certain chewing-gums can help to restore a better salivary function and avoid mouth dryness issues.

In the dental clinic, the work of the dental hygienist is essential to solve the problem, as they are qualified to explain to the patients the right way of cleaning their mouth and some easy habits which can help everyone to improve not only their dental health, but also their overall health.