Halitosis…A great show stopper
Halitosis is really just a fancy word for Bad Breath.
It is one of the most embarrassing and often unnoticed conditions experienced by a lot of individuals . It can be difficult to treat because in most instances a sufferer is totally unaware that they have bad breath with diagnosis often being made by an individual who comes into close contact with the sufferer. Frankly, it can be embarrassing.
How Does What You Eat Affect Breath?
Basically, all the food eaten begins to be broken down in your mouth. As foods are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, they are eventually carried to your lungs and given off in your breath. If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing — even mouthwash — merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.
Sinusitis or a sinus infection (Fungal/Viral or Bacterial Sinus infection)
Frequent and the large consumption of Dairy and Dairy containing products
An imbalance in the levels of good bacteria found in the bodies digestive system
Eating strong smelling foods such as garlic, acidic beverages, spicy foods or fish
Candida or fungal infections of the digestive system
A poor or sluggish digestive system resulting in the accumulation of partially digested foods and stomach acids.
Cigarette or tobacco smoking
Diabetes can result in bad breath
Poor oral hygiene and gum diseases such as gingivitis
Diets low in carbohydrates can cause one’s body to break down fats for energy instead. This causes a ketone byproduct which often results in one’s breath having a fruity, acetone odor.
A dry mouth (xerostomia) which can be caused by salivary gland problems, excessive mouth breathing or certain medications may cause halitosis. And the list goes on.
A metallic taste experienced in the back of the throat. This taste is a result of excess iron secreted by the body’s immune cells in response to fighting a sinus infection.
One’s breath may be likened to the smell of garlic which is not only a result of the excess consumption of garlic, but can also be attributed to the byproducts caused by the body’s natural defense system.
Frequent belching can result in damage to the delicate esophagus as stomach acids progress up the esophagus as well as bad breath.
A thick coated tongue which may be either white or yellow in color
A feeling as if your tongue is dry and furry or even thick
What Can I Do to Prevent Bad Breath?
Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:
- Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Brush teeth after you eat (keep a toothbrush at work or school to brush after lunch). Don’t forget to brush the tongue, too. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
- See your dentist regularly — at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning and will be able to detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
- Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.
- Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best.
- Keep a log of the foods you eat. If you think they may be causing bad breath, bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some drugs may play a role in creating mouth odors.
Who Treats Bad Halitosis?
In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odor source and treatment plan. If the odor is due to gum disease, for example, your dentist can either treat the disease or refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum conditions.
You can buy a number of mouthwashes that claim to eliminate bad breath. However, many of these generally provide only a temporary way to mask unpleasant mouth odor. There are, however, several antiseptic mouth-rinse products that kill the germs that cause bad breath. Ask your dentist about which product is best for you.
Many people think that the best way to know if they’ve got bad breath is by breathing into their palms and sniffing it in, but No. the best way is to breath into someone as to breath in.
However, because of the shame and bad feeling that is associated with having bad breath, most people do not want to meet just anybody. Hence, I suggest you meet someone very close to you that will tell you the truth and you won’t feel bad about it.