What is Halitosis?
Halitosis is a medical term that is characterized by an unpleasant odor of the mouth, which can trigger anxiety and self-consciousness in many individuals. Unlike morning breath, halitosis is a chronic bad breath condition that affects about every 1 in 5 people in the general population and often can’t easily be solved with mints, mouthwash, or brushing.
Some Common Factors that Affects Halitosis
- Certain foods and drinks such as coffee, garlic, and onions are the main contributor to halitosis. Once ingested, the odor lingers in our bloodstream and expelled through the lungs until our body fully digests the food.
- Infrequent flossing allows food particles that are trapped between the teeth to collect bacteria. Once the bacterium feeds on the left behind food, it produces a waste product that releases a foul scent. Over time, this can lead to gingivitis and tooth decay.
- Tongue bacteria can also contribute to halitosis. However, a gentle brush of the tongue with your tooth brush or tongue scrapper can reduce bacteria growth on the tongue.
- Smoking can lead to dry mouth and serious bad breath. It is difficult to detect halitosis among those who smoke as they can be accustomed to the smell.
- Dry mouth occurs when not enough saliva is produced to wash down the remnants of food and bacteria. This can cause an unpleasant foul odor. Additionally, side effects of some medication can lead to dry mouth. It is important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Infections in the mouth can cause halitosis. However, Dr. Mocrae can prescribe antibiotics to minimize the infection and treatment advice for the source of infection.
- Medical Conditions such as tonsillitis, respiratory tract infections, chronic bronchitis, diabetes gastrointestinal disturbance, or kidney ailments can result in halitosis.
Remedies and Treatments to Halitosis:
Some home remedies for breath management consists of regular brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping to prevent bacterial build-up in the mouth. In addition, reducing sugar consumption can reduce the rate of bacteria growth in the mouth. As bacteria likes to digest sugar, limiting their food source can limit their growth. Lastly, drinking plenty of water can help minimize the occurrence of halitosis. You should always follow up with your family physician in case there are other non-dental related underlying medical conditions that cause halitosis. If you find that your halitosis symptom continues to persist after following these home remedy suggestions, book an appointment with Dr. Mocrae for other possible dental causes. Dr. Mocrae and his team are here to help you with all your dental needs.