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What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad Breath Is More Than Just an Oral Problem

Are you feeling self-conscious because of bad breath? Whether your bad breath has been plaguing you for most of your life or you have just recently been diagnosed with the condition, halitosis is more than just an oral problem. It can result in low self-esteem, strain in intimate relationships, as well as depression. It is an embarrassing health condition that affects approximately 30 percent of the world’s population. While poor oral hygiene is assumed to always be the cause of bad breath, there are cases when halitosis is caused by other factors.

Some of these factors include:

  • Foods such as onions and garlic
  • Dry mouth
  • Prescription medications
  • Infections in your mouth
  • Imbalance of bacteria in your gut

Some individuals may also develop halitosis as a result of infections or chronic inflammations in your mouth, nose, and tonsils as well as other illnesses or diseases such as diabetes, lung disease, kidney disease, some cancers, liver disease, and other metabolic disorders. This is why going to your doctor to have your halitosis diagnosed is of utmost importance.

Getting a Proper Diagnosis & Treatment

It’s perfectly understandable if you find it hard to ask even your closest family or friend if you have bad breath. You may try sniffing your own breath by licking the inside of your wrist and letting it dry for a moment before taking a whiff. If you don’t like what you smell, you should review your oral hygiene routine first. Brush your teeth twice daily, clean in between your teeth, and top it off with an antibacterial mouthwash. If after all these, you are still bothered by the smell of your breath, it may be time to see your dentist.

In diagnosing halitosis, your dentist will smell the breath from your mouth as well as your nose. He/she may also scrape your tongue and assess its odor to make sure of your diagnosis. Your treatment will depend on the cause of your halitosis. If it’s caused by dental problems, he/she will prescribe a treatment plan for you that may include dietary plans and other recommended dental products. However, if your dentist thinks that your bad breath is a cause of an underlying condition, he/she will likely refer you to a physician.

Bad Breath Prevention

As they say, prevention is always better than cure. If you want to have a lifetime of minty-fresh breath, the key is to be diligent in your oral hygiene routine and make better lifestyle choices. Remember, bad breath can be just a symptom of poor health.

Helpful tips to prevent bad breath:

  • Watch what you eat- When you digest, these foods enter your bloodstream and are expelled through your lungs. Opt for a high-fiber diet and avoid extreme fasting or low-carb diets.
  • Drink plenty of water- Water can help wash away the harmful bacteria and debris from your teeth if you haven’t brushed yet. Staying hydrated can also help with dry mouth.
  • Quit smoking- Aside from the strong odor of cigarettes, smoking can also cause varied dental and gum diseases that can contribute to bad breath.
  • Cut back on coffee- Coffee has a tough odor than can be hard to get rid of. If you need the caffeine, opt for green or black tea instead.

If bad breath is continuously making you feel down, just keep in mind that this is just like any other medical condition that requires your special attention. Halitosis is a treatable condition. As long as you follow your doctor’s advice and be mindful of your life choices, your bad breath will sooner become good.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.