About bad breath
Bad breath, also called “halitosis” or “oral malodor”, is a symptom that an unpleasant odor is present on the exhaled breath. Bad breath makes people feel embarrassed and is now the third most frequent reason for people to seek dental care after tooth decay and gum disease. It’s estimated that 30~40% of the general population are reported to suffer from bad breath to some degree.
How to judge your bad breath
Use a spoon to scrap the back of your tongue, let the spoon dry, and then smell it, you will know if your breath stink or not. You can also smell your dental floss after you use it.
But if your bad breath is from your inside instead of your mouth, you need to ask a close friend because she/he’s often “close” to you and know the “secret”.
Root causes of bad breath and the treatments
Actually almost all people had the bad breath (halitosis) problem before. Some people got the breath problem for a short time and others had a long-term bad breath. That’s because the causes of bad breath are different. The bad breath can be temporary when it’s caused by food particles remaining between teeth promoting the growth of bacteria below the gumline or on the back of the tongue, an antibacterial mouth rinse can get rid of the bad breath. But it would take much longer time to cure bad breath when it’s caused by internal medical conditions like respiratory tract infection, chronic sinus infection and even liver diseases. So different causes of bad breath need different treatments. To handle this problem, you need to know what cause your bad breath first. Below are some conditions for your self-diagnostics.
Food: Food is a main source of oral malodor. Some food with strong odor like garlic, onions, fish can remain a lingering smell in your mouth. But this is usually short term. The serious situation is that the food particles get stuck between teeth promoting the growth of bacteria and producing malodor. Give it some time for such a bad dental hygiene, plaque will build up between the tooth and the gum which causes an odor of its own. For this situation, the way to prevent and treat bad breath is to brush and floss the teeth regularly.
Cigarette smoking: Smoking can leave smoke particles and linger in the throat and lungs for hours, hence the stale scent associated with smoker’s breath. Stop smoking is the most direct way to eliminate such a bad breath.
Dry mouth: Dry mouth, clinically called xerostomia, is a condition that usually results from decreased production of saliva. Saliva is a vital part of the digestive process and help to remove odor-causing particles in mouth. So when mouth is dry, bad breath occurs. A Bad breath in the morning is very common. Saliva production nearly stops during sleep, which allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath, but this is normal. Bad breath caused by dry mouth happens not only in the morning after waking when dry mouth is caused by medical conditions like side effect from stress, side effect of drugs, damage of salivary glands and so on. For the symptom of bad breath caused by dry mouth, you are suggested to have a mouth rinse to remove the bacteria so that you breath freshly and then go to see a doctor.
Gut Bacteria: An imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut would cause bad breath from your inside that produced by bad bacteria like yeast and/or candida. Your bad breath gets worse when you’ve eaten too much sugar that feeds bad bacteria to produce more excessive gas—including foul-smelling hydrogen sulfide. You are supposed to take antimicrobial herbs to kill the bad bacteria, and then repopulate the gut with good bacteria known as probiotics.
Other health problems: The bad breath may be caused by other internal health problems that are more complicated and need longer time to treat. These medical conditions includes chronic sinus infection, chronic acid reflux, diabetes, liver diseases and so on. So when you don’t have ideas what cause your bad breath after trying dental care, stopping smoking and taking probiotics, you may need to see a doctor for a body check.