Avoid Halitosis With These Tips

Avoid Halitosis With These Tips

Halitosis is not infectious. About 2.4% of the adult population suffers from bad breath.

Having halitosis can have a major impact on a person. Because of bad breath, other people may back away or turn their heads. This can cause a loss of confidence and self-esteem.

Halitosis (bad breath) is mostly caused by sulfur-producing bacteria that normally live on the surface of the tongue and in the throat.

Avoid halitosis with these tips

Avoid halitosis with these tips

Causes of halitosis

Apart from the sulfur-producing bacteria that colonize the back of the tongue, the other major causes of halitosis are:

  • Dental factors – such as periodontitis (infection around the teeth) or poor oral hygiene
  • Dry mouth – caused by medicines, alcohol, stress, or a medical condition
  • Smoking – starves the mouth of oxygen.

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Less common causes of halitosis include:

  • Acid and bile reflux from the stomach
  • Post-nasal discharge – for example, due to chronic sinusitis
  • Kidney failure, various carcinomas, metabolic dysfunctions, and biochemical disorders, together account for only a very small percentage of halitosis suffers
  • Foods – such as onions, garlic, or cauliflower, induce certain odors. However, these effects are only short-lived.

Symptoms of halitosis

The features of halitosis can include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Build up around teeth
  • Post-nasal drip, or mucous
  • Constant sour, bitter metallic taste
  • Morning bad breath and a burning tongue
  • Thick saliva and a constant need to clear your throat
  • A white coating on the tongue especially at the back of the tongue

Treating halitosis

There is no one treatment for halitosis. The treatment will depend on what is causing the problem. Avoiding dehydration and good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, are important. Some mouthwashes, lozenges, and toothpaste can assist in fighting halitosis.

Gentle but effective tongue cleaning may also be required. A variety of tongue brushes and scrapers have been produced in recent years. The tongue should be brushed in a gentle but thorough manner, from the back towards the front of the tongue, keeping in mind that the hardest-to-reach back portion smells the worst.

People with chronic sinusitis may find the regular use of a saline nasal spray helpful. A course of an antibiotic, effective against anaerobic bacteria may also help. Speak to your dentist, doctor, or chemist to identify the cause of your halitosis and to find the most effective treatment for you.

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