Halitosis or bad breath is your breath that smells bothersome. Most often, it is the bacteria on the tongue or teeth that produce these odors.
The oral environment is the place of transit for several phenomena including respiration, food, speech and the onset of digestion.
Although halitosis is a minor health problem, it can still be a source of stress and a social handicap.
The phenomenon of bad breath is multifactorial and can have negative repercussions on the social, professional, emotional and self-confidence of the affected person. It is therefore important to find its causes and treat them carefully.
Causes of bad breath
Most cases of bad breath originate in the mouth itself and can be caused by:
- Certain foods containing oils that have a peculiar smell, such as garlic, onions or certain spices. These foods, when digested, are transformed into potentially odorous components which pass through the bloodstream, travel to the lungs where they are the source of odorous breath until they are eliminated from the body.
- Poor oral hygiene When oral hygiene is insufficient, the food particles that persist between the teeth, or between the gum and the teeth are colonized by bacteria emitting foul-smelling sulfur-based chemicals. The microscopic uneven surface of the tongue can also harbor food debris and odor-causing bacteria.
- Oral infection cavities or periodontal disease (infection or abscess of the gums or periodontitis).
- A dry mouth (xerostomia or hyposialia) Saliva is a natural mouthwash. It contains antibacterial substances that eliminate germs and particles responsible for bad breath. At night, saliva production decreases, which is the cause of bad breath in the morning.
- Alcohol consumption, breathing through the mouth rather than through the nose, and salivary gland disorders.
- Tobacco products Tobacco dries out the mouth, and smokers are also at greater risk for dental disease, which leads to halitosis.
- Hormones during ovulation and pregnancy, high levels of hormones increase the production of dental plaque, which, when colonized by bacteria, can cause foul-smelling breath.
In the event of bad breath, several measures can be effective:
- Scrape your tongue with the devices provided for this purpose sold in pharmacies;
- Brush your tongue every day with the toothbrush;
- Gargle every morning with an antiseptic solution;
- Drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day;
- Rinse your mouth regularly;
- Promote salivation by consuming acidic fruit juices or sucking sugarless mint lozenges or chewing gum;
- Eat on a regular basis.
If these measures do not improve or if halitosis appears for no apparent reason, it is best to consult your doctor.
After an additional examination by a specialist (stomatologist, dentist or ENT specialist), the medical treatment instituted will depend on the cause of the halitosis. Indeed, sometimes bad breath is one of the symptoms of a medical condition.
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