Halitosis - bad breath

Most often, poor oral hygiene is responsible for this problem. However, halitosis is a common indicator of several diseases, being connected to any oral hygiene. But in order to determine the causes of unpleasant breath, dental control is required.

The first step in fighting bad breath is to follow the rules of oral hygiene: brushing teeth and tongue 2 times a day and flossing to clean spaces between teeth. If these rules are not followed, the bacteria that cause bad breath accumulate in the mouth.

Halitosis may indicate a periodontal disease in case it became chronic. Following the formation of plaque in the oral cavity, the pulp tissue becomes infected, which leads to periodontal disease.

Also, bad breath is also one of the symptoms of medical problems such as respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, post nasal discharge, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders and liver or kidney disease.

Other factors that may trigger unpleasant breath are cracked dental fillings or crowns, which create an environment of bacteria, which leads to dental decay in the place where they cracked. To detect such problems, you need a dental examination, and if the cracks could not be detected thus resort to dental radiographs.

If your dentist determines that the reason of bad breath is gum disease, he may advise the patient to seek a specialist in this field. Periodontitis or periodontal disease may lead to withdrawal of gum that can hold bacteria in dental plaque. Cleaning may be required to follow an intense or long-term treatment.

Xerostomia (dry mouth) is on the list of causes of bad breath, given that saliva is a “natural mouthwash” which helps to eliminate bacteria accumulated in the mouth, which means lower production of saliva gives rise to a bad breath.

Sometimes bad breath can be one of the indicators of disease. Lung infections, cancer, liver or kidney failure, diabetes or gastroesophageal reflux disease were associated with halitosis. If a person has an upper respiratory infection such as bronchitis or cough with expectoration, they may be the cause of bad breath.

Starvation or prolonged weight loss diets can lead to bad breath because of ketoacidosis, which involves chemical decomposition during long periods in which a person is not feeding.


Mouth odor is not only a social problem, but may be a warning about other hidden disease or oral infection. If it’s an infection, treatment to the dentist and a rigorous oral hygiene can solve the problem. Mouth odor may indicate an imbalance in the oral infection elsewhere in the body. For example, when you suffer from constipation, the food stays in the intestines longer than it should and can cause bacterial fermentation of undigested food. These foods produce gases which are absorbed by the body and then released outside through breathing.

The dentist can use much more sophisticated scientific methods to determine if a person suffers from halitosis (chromatography, chemiluminescence)

In order to avoid halitosis that is not caused by a disease, maintain good oral hygiene by brushing teeth and flossing three times a day – try a toothpaste that contains tea tree or eucalyptus oil, use an antibacterial mouthwash, go to the dentist regularly and quit smoking and reduce consumption of coffee, garlic and other foods with strong odor.

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