HALITOSIS (MOUTH ODOR/BAD BREATH)

What is halitosis? 

Halitosis is an oral health condition in which the main symptom is bad breath, and it affects both genders equally in both young and old people generally, most of the time the bad breath goes away after an individual brushes their teeth in the morning, if it does not go away that means it is a sign of an underlying condition. 

Causes of Halitosis 

There are different causes of halitosis, which are listed below:

  1. Bacterial Infection 
  2. Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
  3. Poor hygiene 
  4. Type of diet ingested particularly protein and coffee
  5. Tooth decay 
  6. Oral Cancer 
  7. Dentures 
  8. Smoking of tobacco
  9. Sinus Infections 
  10. Multiple breakdowns of food around the teeth can multiply bacteria leading to bad breath.
  11. Medications that can cause bad breath 
  12. Medical Conditions like respiratory conditions, tooth decay, and arthritis. 

Symptoms of halitosis

The symptoms of halitosis are listed below: 

  1. Yellowish or whitish film coating the tongue 
  2. Chronic dry mouth 
  3. The metallic, bitter, or sour taste of the mouth 
  4. Bad breath 

Types of halitosis

There are two types of halitosis which are listed below:

  1. Intraoral halitosis: This is caused when there is a causative factor present in the oral cavity (mouth, tongue, or gums) which causes the clinical manifestation of bad breath and bitter mouth. 
  2. Extraoral halitosis: It is a type of halitosis that is caused by an external factor or condition which causes a foul odor. Examples of external conditions are respiratory conditions, sinus infection, and systemic disease. 

Treatment and Management of halitosis 

The treatments for halitosis are highlighted below: 

  1. Improved oral hygiene by the use of recommended mouthwash to get rid of the mouth odor, brushing and flossing of the teeth at least twice daily.
  2. Ensure that if there is any tooth decay or root canal infection it is treated appropriately by removal of the teeth to reduce the foul smell originating from the mouth. 
  3. Ensure an adequate diet, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables to boost the immune system which fights against infection. 
  4. Avoid the intake of sugary foods because it causes decay of the teeth 
  5. Avoid intake of onion, cabbage, and garlic because it causes bad breath.
  6. Avoid smoking tobacco 
  7. Regular dental checkups to do some dental procedures like scaling and polishing at least three times a year.
  8. Treat any systemic disease present like respiratory infections
  9. Ensure to stay hydrated all the time, by drinking water to prevent the gathering of spit in the mouth which can cause mouth odor. 
  10. Ensure proper cleaning of any dentures present by following the recommended procedure of cleaning. 

Complications of Halitosis

The complications of halitosis are listed below:

  1. Low self-esteem 
  2. Depression 
  3. Anxiety or exaggerated focus on your breath when around people

 

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