What is Bad Breath and How to Deal With It?

by Samuel Peterson

Posted on Monday 26th of September 2011


The medical term for bad breath is halitosis, and is used to describe the unpleasant noticeable odor which is exhaled while breathing. Bad breath has a significant impact personally and even socially. Besides being annoying for the person who faces it, it is very embarrassing also.

In more than 80% of the cases Bad breath originates in the mouth of the victim itself. Mind it bad breath never originates from the stomach. There are anaerobic oral bacteria in our mouth which breakdown the food debris in the mouth and emit smell which is similar to rotten eggs and very unpleasant. These bacteria can only survive in oxygen free environment hence they live in areas which are difficult to reach like grooves in the tongue, pockets around the teeth and particularly on the back of the tongue. Bad breath is intense at night because mouth is not exposed to oxygen and remains inactive during night.

In some cases bad breath may be caused due to some other problems like respiratory tract infection, sinuses problem, postnasal drip, dieting, liver or kidney ailment, gum disease and external agents like cigarette smoking, garlic, onions, tobacco, coffee etc. These are the uncommon causes and more than 90% of the problems are caused due to bacteria and their work on the left over food particles in the mouth.

Many individuals think that bad breath problem is very difficult to cure and requires physician’s advice and drugs and so refrain from it. Getting a physicians advice is no doubt an ideal solution, but the problem can also be easily corrected if individuals takes some corrective, precautionary steps from their side and try removing the root cause.

As bad breath is caused because of the byproducts when bacteria digest proteins and food particles, minimizing the food supply available to the bacteria will aid a lot. It’s very important to thoroughly clean the mouth after eating food and especially if the food is rich in protein and spices. This is because even if we finish our meals, small minute particles get trapped between our teeth and posterior parts of tongue and provide meals to the bacteria. Individuals having vegetarian diet comprising of fruits and vegetables have less chances of bad breath than individuals who regularly consume non vegetarian items like meat and chicken.

Some of the oral bacteria that are responsible for bad breath and create waste products live in the dental plaque which accumulates on and around individual’s teeth, including below and on the gum line. Proper brushing clubbed with efficient flossing technique can remove the plaque and also food debris that is left in the mouth after consuming of food. And in case it’s not possible to brush your teeth after meal as you are out, make it a point to wash your mouth thoroughly with water and if you can gargle, it will be the best.

Bad breath is a problem shared by millions of people, and at the same time millions of people have also over taken it with proper measures. So please take the appropriate actions and don’t let bad breath dominate.



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