Bad breath â€“ The Causes and Solutions
Bad breath is commonly noticed up on waking up. For many people however it may be a chronic problem. Bad breath or halitosis can have many causes. It is embarrassing and can result in lowering of self esteem for those who suffer with chronic bad odor. That said, it is an easily treatable problem once the causes are identified. A good dentist can help you identify the problem and help you overcome it.
Causes of bad breath
The tongue is one of the common bad breath causes. The tongue houses bacteria which live on the remains of food we consume. This bacteria are anaerobic in nature (do not require oxygen to survive) and since the rear part of the tongue does not get much oxygen it is an ideal spot for bacteria to survive. In addition to the food, dead cells of the tongue lining and post nasal drip (accumulation of mucus in the back of throat) also add to the sustenance of bacteria. Other causes of bad breath include:
- During the process of breakdown of food, foul gases are released. These gases cause the exhaled air to smell bad. On consumption of certain foods like garlic, onion or on taking alcohol, the mouth assumes a bad odor. However these causes last for only as long as the essence of what is consumed remains in the body. They are not a cause of chronic problem.
- In the mouth, diseases and infection can also cause foul odor. Infections of the mouth caused due to HPV or herpes, results in lesions which emit foul smelling odors. Gum disease is another cause. In this case bad odor is severe and until treatment has achieved complete results, it is difficult to just get rid of the odor. Tonsils can also become infected and result in bad breath. Foul smelling material can get stuck in tonsils. One of the symptoms of the presence of the material is bad odor from the mouth.
- The nose, stomach and esophagus can also be sources of bad breath. The air exhaled from the nose can have a bad smell. Esophagus and stomach are rare causes. Reflux or belching causes the emissions of foul smelling gases from the stomach. This problem however is short lived unless belching or reflux becomes chronic.
Bad breath is easy to diagnose. Though you may not know if you have it, you will notice it easily. Many people know when their breath is bad even if they cannot smell. It may also be brought to notice by others around because it is easily detectable by others as we can detect bad odor in others. There are other devices like halimeter, which can also detect the bad odor even if it is present in the smallest amounts.
Once the cause of bad breath has been detected, treatment can usually start. Mild problems are often a result of bad dental hygiene or dental problems, which can be easily corrected by a dentist. Your dentist will also suggest you changes, in the practice of oral hygiene which will get rid of the odor. Causes of chronic symptoms have to be examined by a dentist as they can be caused by serious ailments and are then only considered a symptom. If you are looking for a good dentist, you can find one in our database.
Bad breath is common in all people. There are many bad breath causes. The primary source of bad breath is mostly the mouth followed by nose, and stomach. Treatment of bad breath begins by identifying the underlying problem.