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Bad breath: Medically termed as halitosis

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Bad breath is medically known as halitosis. It refers to the foul smell that comes out from the mouth sometimes or permanently. It could be managed with proper dental treatment and following good oral hygiene.

Let’s explore some more significant facts about bad breath.


Symptoms associated with bad breath

The intensity and type of smell is attributed to the underlying reason that you are suffering from. All in all, a foul smelling mouth is highly repulsive.

Additionally, the individual might experience the following symptoms:

  • Alteration of taste inside the mouth
  • A sensation of thickness and coating over tongue or teeth
  • Bleeding from teeth or gum


Causes of bad breath

There are several reasons that lead to bad breath. Basically, the foul smell is produced by bacterial activity inside your mouth. It could be trigged by several factors or bad breath is directly a symptom of a health issue. 

  • Eating pungent spices like garlic and onions or spicy foods. They make your breath stinky
  • Too much smoking, chewing tobacco products, over consumption of tea, coffee and alcohol
  • Oral conditions like plaque, tartar, gum disease or infections, post operative ulcers or sores, tooth decay, ill fitting dentures, etc.

Foods that cause bad breath

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Diagnosis of bad breath

Your doctor will check the odour of your mouth and thoroughly inspect your oral cavity that includes your teeth, gum and tongue especially the back of the tongue as it’s the most obvious spot for origin of bad breath.

You need to answer several questions related to your eating and drinking habits, daily oral care regimen, and history of medical disorder or medicines.

Usually, bad breath is associated with poor dental care and dental hygiene which could be evaluated by physical examination itself.

Other diagnostic tests would be recommended only if any other health issue has been suspected.


Treatment of bad breath

Your dentist or periodontist will advice treatment depending cause. Some common treatment options pertaining to oral cause include:

  • Treatment of dental disease or gum infection with medicines- once you are cured the foul smell from your mouth would also disappear
  • Professional cleaning of teeth to remove plaque and tartar deposits. Your doctor would schedule next round of cleaning.

Apart from this, special toothpaste and antibacterial mouthwashes would be given to manage bad breath.


Tips to prevent bad breath

  • It’s important to keep a note of what you eat and drink. We suggest you to cut down stinky foods as much as possible; instead consume plenty of citrus fruits, carrots, celery and coriander
  • Reduce your daily intake of tea and coffee. Have more of herbal teas like green tea, lemongrass tea, and chamomile tea that help to freshen up your breath.
  • Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily to prevent your mouth from drying.
  • Always keep cloves and cardamom with you. Chew them often every day. You can also pop in sugar free mouth freshener gums or spray on mint based refreshers to get rid of bad breath instantly
  • Proper oral care is very important. Brush your teeth twice a day, scrape your tongue daily and remember to floss before going to bed. Also use the mouth rinses given by your doctor after meals.

Life style changes to overcome bad breath

What is halitosis

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: September 15, 2014