Bad Breath (Halitosis): Causes and Treatment

Bad Breath (Halitosis): Causes and Treatment

Halitosis is an offensive odour that oozes from the mouth. It is also called Bad Breath. It is a common problem that affects over one-third of the world population. It is also referred to as Fetor Oris.

In 90% of individuals with Halitosis, the underlying problem lies within the mouth, a condition called intra-oral Halitosis. Intra-Oral Halitosis is primarily caused by oral bacteria, which produce foul smelling gases called volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).

The other 10% of causes are classified has exra-oral Halitosis because the underlying problem is outside of the mouth. Uncontrolled medical diseases or adverse effects of medications are the most common causes of extra-oral Halitosis.

Causes of Halitosis

According to a medical expert on Dental Health, intra-oral Halitosis is frequently caused by the following conditions.

  1. Gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontitis (gum disease): These two are caused by accumulations of bacteria on the teeth (dental plague) and within pockets between the teeth and gums. These bacteria produced exceedingly high level of foul smelling VSCs. Poor dental Hygiene and smoking are known to increase the risk of gum disease.
  2. Tongue Coating: Accumulation of food and bacteria on the dorsal surface f the tongue produces significant odours.
  3. Dental Cavities: Tooth decay and associated infections commonly contribute to Halitosis.
  4. Food Particles: When teeth is improperly brushed and flossed, bacteria adhere to food particles retained between the teeth and produce offensive odour. Additionally, some foods like garlic and onions temporarily cause bad breath.
  5. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia): An inadequate amount of saliva makes clearing of food particles more difficult.

Diagnosis & Treatment

  • Good brushing and flossing habits will help reduce bad breath.
  • One can make use of a tongue scraper as some bacteria that cause bad breath reside deep within the crevices on the back of the tongue.
  • Also practice good eating habit and oral hygienic, don’t ignore the problem. Visit your dentist from time to time.

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