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

Halitosis is a condition in which a foul odor comes from a person’s mouth. In other words, bad breath, and there can be a whole range of causes. In any case, you need to cure it if you have it, not only to save you from embarrassment, but also to protect your body against a potential health issue that may for now be manifesting halitosis.

The Tongue

As much to 90% of bad breath bacteria can be 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 see some kind of coating, then you likely have bad breath. When brushing their teeth, some people forget about their tongue, which requires regular cleaning too. A tongue scraper is more effective than a toothbrush though for sweeping away the coating left behind by dead cells, bacteria and food bits.

Throat Issues

The offensive odor from the mouth could also be come from the throat. One common throat condition that can cause halitosis is tonsillitis – infected tonsils and tonsil stones can lead to bad breath. Any type of respiratory tract infection can be a cause of this condition as well, from chronic sinus infections to chronic acid reflux to pneumonia and the rest.

Gastrointestinal Causes

Halitosis can also be caused by problems in the gastrointestinal system. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is characterized by stomach acids, which may include undigested food and bile, flowing back into the esophagus and causing bad breath. Vomiting that causes dehydration also leads to bad breath because of mouth dryness. Saliva keeps the mouth moist and helps remove bacteria and food particles.

Dental Issues

Halitosis can result from dental problems like gum disease and dental cavities too. So if you have one of those, see your dentist before you get bad breath, if not yet. Yes, it could be a dental issue, but it could also be something else entirely. If your dentist suspects it is beyond dentistry, they will make recommendations as needed.

Tips for Fighting Bad Breath

– Drink adequate water daily (dry mouth leads to bad breath). – Every night before hitting the sack, remove your dentures and clean them well. – Make it a point to brush your teeth twice and to floss everyday. – See your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and checkups. – Stay away from tobacco and odor-causing foods such as raw garlic and onions. – Have more fennel seeds, aniseeds and cloves in your diet for their antiseptic benefits; and fresh herbs, such as mint and parsley, for their ability to neutralize odors.
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