Bad breath, or halitosis, is a condition that is most often a source of embarrassment for the person affected. Yet, not many people with bad breath are even aware that they have this problem.
So how do you know if you have this problem?
A person can’t be expected to know right away that they have this problem. However, there are certain factors that may cause bad breath. To save yourself from embarrassment, watch out for these.
Bad breath emanates from the mouth. It, therefore, makes sense that the first thing you should look into is your mouth – or more precisely, what you place in it.
The foods that you eat could affect how your breath smells. For instance, foods like garlic and onions are known to be highly aromatic and can contribute to objectionable odor in your breath. Some food leftovers will remain in your mouth, in the back of your tongue or in your saliva, and this could lead to bad breath. Additionally, after the food is absorbed in your bloodstream, they could be transferred to the lungs where their residual odor is expelled through the breath.
Brushing and flossing every after meal should solve the problem of bad smelling breath due to the foods that you eat. Mouthwash will also kill of bacteria and mask the odor temporarily.
The condition is known as xerostomia and it occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Your saliva is not only useful for digestion but it also helps cleanse your mouth of food particles that may cause odor. If, for some reason, your mouth experiences a decrease in supply of saliva, the result is dry mouth which in turn will lead to development of bad breath.
Dry mouth may be caused by taking certain medications or problems with the salivary glands (responsible for secreting saliva). Increasing fluid intake should help solve this problem, just as sugarless candy and artificial saliva which your dentist may suggest.
Smoking is a major source of bad odor in the mouth. Not only cigarettes but all tobacco products may cause bad breath. Ask your dentist for some tips on how to prevent bad odor due to tobacco. He may suggest a particular type of mouthwash that would mask the odor. However, if you really want to get rid of bad breath, consider kicking the habit entirely.
If even after learning to avoid these factors and following all suggested treatments you still have bad breath, then perhaps it’s time for you to go see your dentist. If it is an oral condition, then he or she should be able to come up with a plan to treat it. Sometimes, however, bad breath may be a sign of a medical disorder. It may be caused by an infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, and other ailments.