What is bad breath?
Medically known as Halitosis, is a very common problem that many patients present in clinic. There could be several reasons for bad breath such as food choices, health problems, gum diseases and/or habits.
What is the cause of bad breath?
- Certain food
- Improper oral hygiene leading to build up of plaque
- Gingivitis (Gum Swelling)
- Tooth decay and/or after oral surgery
- Acid Reflux
- Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
- No tongue hygiene
- Tobacco products
- Viral infections
What are the signs and symptoms of Bad Breath?
- Yellow buildup around tooth neck
- Staining on teeth
- Dry Mouth
- Tongue coating
- Bad Smell in morning
- Sometimes, bad taste
- Irritation in gums
Bad Breath Diagnosis
Diagnosis is generally made after the patient’s history is reviewed and thorough clinical check-up. If there is no oral component found, then you will be referred to a specialist.
How can I avoid Bad Breath?
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Scrape or brush your tongue daily
- Floss after every meal
- Stay hydrated with regular water intake
- Change your toothbrush after every 3 months or after any illness
- Schedule regular dental visits to ensure there are no underlying issues.
1. Why do I have bad breath when I brush regularly?
Even if you brush regularly, you might have some habits such as tobacco intake, high sugar intake, carbohydrate-cutting diet and skipping meals or fasting that also contribute to bad odor. Chewing helps your mouth to produce saliva and to keep it hydrated.
2. Can bad breath be a reason of an underlying problem?
The answer is yes. Persistent bad breath may be a byproduct of some medical ailment. Acid reflux and heartburn is most common reason of leaving you with a bad taste and hence, bad smell. If you have a fruity smell, it could be because of type 1 diabetes, while ammonia odor is a telltale sign of kidney disease.
Gingivitis and periodontitis cause halitosis as it increases the number of bacteria in our mouth. In case you are taking certain kind of medication for depression or anxiety, it could lead to dry mouth and eventually, bad breath.
3. Can I treat bad breath at home?
Yes and No. If you can tame down your symptoms at home with proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing then it is all under control. But if you feel that you are anxious and nervous due to constant bad breath then it might be your sign to see a dentist.