Dentists call bad breath halitosis. Many people, when speaking, give off a peculiar odor that is unpleasant to themselves or to others. Halitosis can be, at the same time, a sign and/or a symptom. The patient may suffer from the problem and not be aware of it or, on the contrary, not suffer from it and believe that he/she has it.
Human breath under normal conditions should not have an unpleasant odor, but should be slightly sweet and characteristic. It can also be different from day to day. Even when it is a consequence of a chronic pathological process, it can present alterations, due to salivary secretion, food residues and bacterial plaque.
Causes of halitosis
On the other hand, the odor emitted by the mouth does not have the same characteristics throughout the day. It is usually more intense when we wake up than during the day, since during sleep we stop producing saliva, a liquid that helps to keep the mouth clean of debris. Without saliva the dead cells and bacteria in our mouth adhere to the tongue and cheeks creating bad odors, increasing their incidence before brushing the teeth than after. In addition, bad breath tends to be more intense during prolonged fasting and especially after certain meals. Foods such as garlic, onions, spicy foods, alcohol and food remains produce bad breath as external causes.
The back surface of the tongue is inhabited by bacteria that cause unpleasant smelling gases. Dry mouth, hormonal changes or the shape of the tongue are some of the factors that contribute to the proliferation of these bacteria.
In addition, dental conditions such as caries, gum problems, periodontitis, or oral infections are other causes of halitosis, as well as poorly adapted fixed prostheses, thus causing the accumulation of residues that if not removed will decompose, or removable prostheses that do not maintain proper hygienic conditions.
Remedies for bad breath
In 90% of the cases bad breath has its origin in the mouth and not in the stomach. In these cases, it is treated with proper dental hygiene by brushing the teeth and gums at least twice a day and always without forgetting the tongue, which will also be brushed or use the instrument called “tongue scraper”. Currently, there are also specific rinses for bad breath on the market.
Another very important tip is to make regular visits to the dentist to rule out cavities, gingivitis, pyorrhea, etc. Having a healthy mouth will solve most of the halitosis or bad breath. In 10% of the cases of halitosis is not of oral origin, but the cause of liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, pharyngitis, sinusitis, etc.. Therefore, in these circumstances it will be necessary to see a specialist to treat the problem adequately.