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Halitosis (Bad Breath) – Causes and Tips

Halitosis is a condition in which a foul odor comes from a person’s mouth. In short, bad breath, and there can be a variety of causes. If you have it, you have to cure it not just to save you from embarrassment, but more importantly to protect you against an underlying health problem that could be manifesting as halitosis at this point.

The Tongue

Around 90% of bad breath microorganisms are found on the tongue. Specifically, these germs may populate those tiny papillae, hence, halitosis. Give your tongue a long, hard look in the mirror. If you see some kind of coating, then you likely have bad breath. When brushing their teeth, some people forget about their tongue, which requires regular cleaning too. which is usually composed of dead cells, food particles and bacteria.

Throat Issues

The foul odor coming from the mouth may also originate in the throat. A common throat condition that brings bad breath is tonsillitis – when tonsils are infected and there are tonsil stones, halitosis results. Any kind of respiratory tract infection can also cause this condition – pneumonia, bronchitis, postnasal drip, etc.

Gastrointestinal Causes

Halitosis may also arise from issues affecting the GI system. In gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach acids, which are usually accompanied by undigested food and bile, flow back up into the esophagus and cause halitosis. Vomiting that causes dehydration also leads to bad breath because of mouth dryness. Saliva keeps the mouth moist and helps remove bacteria and food particles.

Dental Issues

Dental health issues like gum disease and dental cavities are also likely causes of halitosis. So if you’re dealing with any of those issues, you should have it taken care of by your dentist before it gives you bad breath, if it hasn’t already. Yes, it might be a dental issue, or then again, it could be something else. If your dentist suspects it is beyond dentistry, they will make recommendations as needed.

Tips for Fighting Bad Breath

– Drink enough water everyday (dry mouth equals bad breath). – Take off and clean your dentures thoroughly before going to sleep. – Make it a point to brush your teeth twice and to floss everyday. – Schedule regular dental appointments (for basic cleaning and checkup). – Steer clear of tobacco products and odor-causing foods (raw garlic and onions, for example). – Add more odor-busting herbs to your diet, such as parsley and basil, along with fennel seeds, aniseeds and cloves, which all possess antiseptic properties.

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