In the medical field, bad breath is referred to as halitosis, an unpleasant odour coming from the mouth.
It can occur occasionally or turn into a chronic condition, the causes range from food, poor dental hygiene, oral diseases and other health factors
Let us take a look at some causes of bad breathe:
Food. The food we eat can sometimes work against in terms of odour. Some foods have a very strong smell and it lingers in our mouths after we’ve consumed it. When eating foods like garlic, onions and certain spices that have a pungent smell we digest the foods and as they enter into our bloodstream, they are carried into our lungs and then affect our breath. Sometimes when our mouth breaks down food particles, they can increase bacteria in our mouth and cause a bad odour.
Tobacco and tobacco products. The smoke you inhale and exhale when smoking tobacco products can not only cause bad breath but has other health-related risks. People who smoke are most likely to get gum disease which is one of the major causes of bad breath.
Check your oral hygiene. Brushing our teeth regularly two times a day and flossing is one way to maintain good oral hygiene. Using an antibacterial mouth will also help with removing bacteria that harm our teeth and gums. If we’re not following a good oral hygiene routine, we could find ourselves stuck with teeth that have plaque stuck to them and that could cause us to have bad breath. Your tongue is another hoarder of bad bacteria which is why it’s highly recommended for the tongue to be cleaned or brushed as well. If you have dentures, you are in no way in the clear, you still need to maintain a good oral routine to avoid this problem. If your dentures are loose or not cleaned properly regularly then you might find yourself with bad breath.
Dry mouth. Your saliva acts as a cleanser, as it removes particles in your mouth that could potentially cause you to have bad breath. If your saliva decreases, that whole process is compromised. Naturally, we can have dry mouth if we’re sleeping, hence the morning breath. If you feel that your breathing has a worse odour then you could have problems with your salivary glands and would need treatment.
Medications that could be adding to your woes. Medication is meant to assist us in whatever ailment we may have but some medicines have side effects that can cause us bad breath. Antidepressants, antihistamines and lung inhalers are just a few medications that can cause bad breath.
Health issues. Certain health conditions we may have can also cause bad breath. Sinus infections, influenza(flu), lactose intolerance, digestion problems and acid reflux are just a few of those conditions.
Your bundle of joy. Pregnancy although not a medical condition, is also a reason that a woman can start experiencing a change in her breathe. The pregnancy can lead to nausea and morning sickness which are the actual causes of bad breath. Due to hormonal changes, food cravings and sometimes dehydration, her pregnancy can cause her to suffer from bad breath.
Symptoms and treatment
You’ll probably know if someone close to you needs help with bad breath but it might be hard for you to recognise it within yourself, so maybe ask a close friend or spouse if they think you suffer from bad breath. The most obvious sign is an unpleasant odour coming from the mouth but other signs can include a dry mouth, a coating on the tongue and an unpleasant or sour taste in your mouth.
- Brush, floss and mouth wash regularly. Be sure to get all food particles off of your mouth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well.
- If you have dentures, keep them clean and well fitted. See your dentist regularly for check-ups
- QUIT smoking if you do
- Always keep sugarless gum or sugar-free candy handy to keep your mouth from drying out