We all have the potential for bad breath hidden deep in the crevices of our tonque, throat and teeth. Halitosis, also known as bad breath is a foul odor that emits from the mouth of someone who has bad breath. We also hear the terms “morning breath” or “garlic breath” used to describe someone you don’t want to get closed to because of the smell coming from his or her mouth.
In general most of the cases of bad breath originate from the mouth and the intensity of the odor coming from the mouth can change as the day wears on. Individuals who have dry mouth or lack adequate amounts of saliva can have a higher risk of having bad breath. You can have bad breath that disappears after brushing, flossing or rinsing with a mouthwash. True bad breath is persistent and these measure just mask the condition. Bad breath can have a disastrous affect on personal relationships, the chance for landing a job, and can also lower self-esteem and add stress to your life.
There are many factors or conditions that can add to your risk factor for bad breath. Gum disease is one risk factor for bad breath that occurs when bacteria grows below the gum line and can have a bad odor. The nose can also be a source for bad smells if there is a foreign body in the nose or the person suffers from a bad sinus infection. The tonsils can also be a source for bad odor. Calcified matter in the tonsillar crypts can emit a foul odor. Certain diseases can be associated with bad breath such as someone with liver failure, someone with a lower respiratory tract infection such as bronchitis, or a lung infection. Someone with renal failure, or carcinoma may also have bad breath. An individual diagnosed with diabetes mellitus may have bad breath and individuals with a metabolic dysfunction can also have bad breath.
If you have done all you can to get rid of bad breath and nothing has worked, it is time to make an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist can determine if there are any dental reasons for your bad breath. A medical doctor can rule out any medical conditions such as those named above as a cause for your bad breath. Tools for diagnosing bad breath include a halimeter, gas chromatography, and the BANA test.
Things you can do at home to reduce your bad breath include:
Eating a healthy diet
Cleaning your teeth and gums after each meal
Gently brushing the tongue by using a brush or tongue scraper
Chewing gum to moisten the mouth and prevent bad breath due to dry mouth
Gargling with a commercial mouthwash at bedtime
Maintaining proper dental hygiene, which includes regular visits to your dentist