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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 other words, bad breath, and there can be a whole range 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

As much to 90% of bad breath bacteria can be found on the tongue. Particularly, these germs may be all over those tiny papillae, thus causing halitosis. Take a long, hard look at your tongue in the mirror. If you see some kind of coating, then you likely have bad breath. When brushing, people sometimes just focus on their teeth and ignore their tongue, which also needs regular cleaning. 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 type of respiratory tract infection can be a cause of this condition as well, from chronic sinus infections to chronic acid reflux to pneumonia and the rest.

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 lubricates the mouth and washes away leftover food bits and bacteria.

Dental Issues

Dental health problems such as cavities and gum disease can also cause halitosis. So if you have one of those, see your dentist before you get bad breath, if not yet. Yes, it could be a dental issue, but it could also be something else entirely. If your dentist thinks it’s beyond dentistry, they will give you advice as necessary.

Basic Tips for Avoiding or Curing Bad Breath

– Drink adequate water daily (dry mouth leads to bad breath). – Take off and clean your dentures thoroughly before going to sleep. – Brush your teeth twice daily, and floss everyday as well. – Schedule regular dental appointments (for basic cleaning and checkup). – Stay away from tobacco and odor-causing foods such as raw garlic and onions. – Have more fennel seeds, aniseeds and cloves in your diet for their antiseptic benefits; and fresh herbs, such as mint and parsley, for their ability to neutralize odors.

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