Causes of Halitosis (Bad Breath) and What You Can Do to Avoid It

Halitosis is a condition characterized by a malodor that comes from the mouth. In other words, bad breath, and there can be a whole range of causes. If you have it, you have to cure it not just to save you from embarrassment, but more importantly to protect you against an underlying health problem that could be manifesting as halitosis at this point.

The Tongue

Around 90% of bad breath microorganisms are found on the tongue. In particular, these germs may cover those minute papillae, leading to halitosis. Give your tongue a long, hard look in the mirror. If you find kind of a coating on top, then you may have halitosis. When brushing, people sometimes just focus on their teeth and ignore their tongue, which also needs regular cleaning. which is usually composed of dead cells, food particles and bacteria.

Throat Issues

The bad odor from the mouth may also begin in the throat. A common throat condition that brings bad breath is tonsillitis – when tonsils are infected and there are tonsil stones, halitosis results. Respiratory tract infections of any kind can cause this condition too, such as pneumonia, chronic sinus infections and even chronic acid reflux, to name a few.

Gastrointestinal Causes

Halitosis can also be caused by problems in the gastrointestinal system. In people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach acids – which may come with bile and undigested food – go back up to the esophagus, leading to bad breath. When vomiting results in dehydration, bad breath can also occur because of dry mouth. Saliva lubricates the mouth and washes away leftover food bits and bacteria.

Dental Issues

Halitosis can result from dental problems like gum disease and dental cavities too. So if you’re dealing with any of those issues, you should have it taken care of by your dentist before it gives you bad breath, if it hasn’t already. Yes, it might be a dental issue, or then again, it could be something else. If your dentist suspects it is beyond dentistry, they will make recommendations as needed.

Basic Tips for Avoiding or Curing Bad Breath

– Drink adequate water daily (dry mouth leads to bad breath). – Take off and clean your dentures thoroughly before going to sleep. – Brush your teeth twice daily and floss everyday too. – Visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. – Avoid tobacco and foods that leave a bad smell in the mouth, like raw garlic and onions. – Add more odor-busting herbs to your diet, such as parsley and basil, along with fennel seeds, aniseeds and cloves, which all possess antiseptic properties.

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