Bad breath aka Halitosis: What are the causes and easy solutions?

Are you suffering from halitosis? If yes, read on to know that causes and solutions as shared by Dr. Gunita Singh, Director, Dentem.
Health & Fitness,bad breath,HalitosisBad breath aka Halitosis: What are the causes and easy solutions?

Bad breath is one thing that is so difficult for oneself to assess. You might have it and don’t even know about it. It badly affects our self-confidence and is very embarrassing if you are pointed out for the same. And mostly we are dependent on someone else to tell us about it. In today’s time when all of us are so hygiene and self-conscious, everyone wants to be prim and proper, it is a curse to suffer from bad breath and you can’t even hide it.

So, let's find out what are the causes and their effective solutions:

First Cause
Who knows it better than me, I have not had a raw onion since I became a dentist. Whatever you do you can’t overcome the stinge of an onion lunch and come fresh for your evening opd. In fact, all foods like pickles, spices, and garlic after digestion enter our bloodstream and are carried to our lungs which respire put the bad odor. 

Solution: 
a) Avoid such foods during the day or if you have a meeting soon after your intake. 
b) Green tea and natural antioxidants in green tea fight bad breath causing bacteria. 
c) The extra dose of chlorophyll in parsley and basil helps you from the bad breath embarrassment.
d) Ginger: Gingerol is a compound in ginger that stimulates the salivary enzymes to breakdown the sulphur compound thus killing the bad breath. 
e) Mouth rinsing - Mouthrinsing with any perfume based mouthwash can mask the bad breath. The homemade mouthwash with crushed ginger, lemon juice, and water can also do wonders.

Second Cause
Poor Oral hygiene- If dental hygiene is not maintained and food particles remain stuck in our mouth this leads to a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque irritates the gums and forms pockets leading to gingivitis which further leads to periodontitis and bad breath.
The tongue is a very important part of our oral cavity and if not cleaned daily bacteria accumulate in the surface of the tongue leading to bad breath.

Solutions:
a) Brushing - One of the simplest answers to most of the dental hygiene issues is brushing. Brushing in the correct manner using the proper technique i.e. vertical strokes from gums to teeth will help remove the extra particles stuck in and around the teeth. 
Specially designed interdental brushes can also be used if any stubborn particles are stuck in between the teeth. They have flexible bristles that can easily reach into the contact areas and fish out the stuck food particles rendering the area clean.

b) Mouthwash after every meal is a must in order to get rid of small unwanted particles deep inside your gums where your brush can't reach. In order to get the most out of the mouthwash, you should rinse for 30 seconds before you spit out. That's the minimum time required for the ingredients to work.

c) Dental floss — I don’t recommend dental floss on a daily basis as the studies have shown that it creates a gap between the teeth after prolonged use. But once in a while just to remove extra particles stuck in between the teeth dental floss is a very good substitute to the toothpick. 

d) Water Pik- Water Pik is a new age solution to maintain oral hygiene it is non-touch method to keep your oral hygiene clean of debris and other food particles stuck in between the teeth. It is a blessing for people who have implants, crowns and bridges, and artificial teeth. It is easily available online with multiple tips of various shapes and sizes to suit your teeth and oral cavity. It is battery operated and flushes water and is available on various e-commerce platforms.

e) An apple a day keeps the doctor away and this holds good for dentists too. Apple is also called a natural toothbrush, in fact, all crisp fruits and raw vegetables like carrot, celery, and apples help clean plaque and tartar from the teeth. They also reduce cavity-causing bacteria and increase the salivary flow in return keeping the oral cavity clean and healthy. It is good to consume them in between as a snack.

Third Cause
Dry mouth is another cause. Saliva is a very important component of our oral cavity. It cleans our mouth removing all extra particles and bacterias causing bad odor. A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia also causes bad breath. This is one of the major reasons why someone gets up with bad breath in the morning. Your mouth is naturally dry during sleep and this worsens in people who sleep with their mouth open.

Chronic dry mouth can be due to some systemic disease or problem with the salivary glands.
Solution: This can be taken care of by drinking lots and lots of water and keeping yourself completely hydrated using some dry mouth lozenges, sugar-free candy and sugar-free gums. But if the problem persists please see a doctor.

Fourth Cause
Any kind of infections in the oral cavity, nose and throat, bad breath can be associated with tooth decay, gum disease, mouth sores can even happen after an oral surgery like tooth impaction. It can also happen due to infection in tonsils, inflammation in nose or throat and sinuses. 
Solution: Meet a doctor and get yourself treated for the cause of infection.

Other causes- Pregnancy, cancer , metabolic disorders and chronic reflux of stomach acids all can be a cause of distinctive and bad breath. 
Solution: We have the solve the underlying etiology.

By Dr. Gunita Singh, Director, Dentem

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