Saturday, November 20, 2010

How to control bad breath?

Bad breath also known as halitosis. This odor can be long lasting or occur for sometime. Millions of bacteria are found in the mouth and at the back of our tongue. In most people, this is the primary reason for bad breath.
Certain types of bad breath are considered to be normal. They need not be health concerns. Bad breath occurs in the morning hours, as bacteria is formed overnight. Less saliva is formed at night. In the day time lot of saliva is formed which cleanses the mouth of decayed food. At night this is not so. Dead cells stick in the inside of the mouth as well as the inner part of the cheek. When the bacterial thrives on these bacteria for food, bad odor emanates from the mouth.
Causes of bad breath
  • Lack of proper dental hygiene- Not brushing frequently or properly and also not flossing well allows food particles to remain in the mouth, which causes bad breath.
  • Infections of the respiratory tract-  Lung, throat or sinus infections.
  • Mouth infections- Periodontal (gum) disease.
  • External agents- Coffee, onion, garlic, cigarette smoking and chewing of tobacco.
  • Systemic(bodywide)illnesses- Liver disease, Diabetes, kidney diseases, sinus disease, reflux disease, lung disease as well as others.
  • Psychiatric illnesses- Some might believe they have bad breath others do not notice. This is known as “pseudohalitosis”.
  • Dry mouth- This is due to medicines, salivary glands or mouth breathing.
Symptoms of bad breath
  • Improper dental hygiene-  Teeth are coated with plaque or film. Food may be trapped between the teeth. Gums may be pale or swollen.
  • Bad odor- The mouth smells bad.
  • Mouth infections- These include swollen gum or red gums which can bleed very easily while flossing or brushing. Pockets of pus or pus found at the base of the tooth. Painful gums or open sores on one’s gums or tongue.
  • External agents- Cigarette stains on the teeth as well as the fingers. Coffee stains on the teeth are also visible.
    Respiratory tract infections- Swollen nymph nodes, sore throat, fever, stuffy nose, yellowish or greenish discharge from the nose, coughing that causes mucus.
  • Systemic(bodywide) illnesses- Diabetes symptoms, kidney failure, or disease of the liver and lung disease.
How long does bad breath last?
This would much depend upon the cause. In case, it is due to improper brushing or flossing then once this rectified the breath will improve. The dentist also can take care of it. In case it is due to systemic illnesses, it can be along term problem. It can be dealt with proper medical treatment.
Prevention of bad breath
  • Brush properly.
  • Floss regularly.
  • Use a mouth freshener such as antiseptic mouth wash.
  • Regular dentist visits.
  • Drinking a lot of water.
  • Chewing sugar less gum.
  • Celery.
  • Raw carrots.
Treatment of bad breath
  • Treat according to the causes.
  • Maintain proper dental hygiene.
  • Consult the dentist regularly.
  • Use a mouthwash on  a daily basis.
Bad breath can be quite embarrassing. It can putt off a person. Even relationship can get affected. Proper dental hygiene can help you get rid of the problem.

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