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Halitosis is also referred to as oral malodour, but most of us know it quite simply as “bad breath.”
Even though it’s a comparatively minor health problem, bad breath can be distressing and a bit of a social handicap. It is not a wonder that we spend millions each year on efforts to freshen our breath with various gums, sprays, and mouthwashes.
The awkward irony of halitosis is that many people aren’t aware that they have it. This is because the cells in the nose that are responsible for the sense of smell actually become unresponsive to the continuous stream of bad odour.
If you have bad breath, you may need to be told, or you may notice the negative reaction of other people when you’re just too close.
It’s easy to self-diagnose bad breath. You can lick your wrist, let it dry for a few seconds and smell the area, or cup your hands over your mouth and sniff your own breath. If you need a second opinion, ask a friend, family member, or your physician or dentist.
Causes of Halitosis
The most common cause of bad breath is the food you eat. Garlic, onions, some kinds of fish, and diets rich in fat and meat can all result in halitosis. When these foods are digested, volatile substances or chemicals are absorbed into your bloodstream and are carried to your lungs where they are exhaled in your breath.
The breakdown products of proteins in the body used for energy are exhaled through the lungs, and therefore missing meals, hunger, fasting, starvation, and low-calorie diets can also cause “hunger breath.” Because there is no flow of saliva during sleep, putrefaction (decomposition or rotting) of saliva and debris in the mouth can lead to bad breath in the morning.
Halitosis is also caused by:
Taking certain medications can also cause bad breath, especially those that reduce the flow of saliva and dry out the mouth (e.g., some antidepressants, antipsychotics, antihistamines, decongestants, and medications to reduce high blood pressure).
Treating and Preventing Halitosis
The manufacturers of mints and mouthwashes have made an industry out of the public’s desire for fresh breath. These products promise that your breath can be made sweet-smelling and “minty fresh.” However, they’re only temporarily helpful at best in controlling breath odours. In fact, many often contain sugar and alcohol, which may lead to tooth decay and may aggravate certain mouth conditions.
Proper care of the mouth and teeth and regular visits to the dentist are important, and are the most effective way to control bad breath. Regular brushing, flossing, rinsing, and tongue scraping can help prevent problems.
Sometimes, halitosis may be caused by illnesses such as lung disease, impaired emptying of the stomach, liver failure, or kidney failure. In this case, treating the underlying condition can improve the halitosis as well.
Here are some tips for getting rid of bad breath:
Keeping Our Patients Safe During This Unprecedented Time:
Under the guidance of the BC Provincial Health, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC and the BC Dental Association, we have implemented strict new clinic standards and safety measures in order to help protect our patients and staff, which include:
The health & safety of our patients has always been our top priority. We encourage everyone to stay safe and to follow the directions of Health Canada and your local health authorities.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us! Great thanks for your understanding and support!
Contact Family Care Dental Clinic for your consultation today!
Located in the heart of North Vancouver, BC, Family Care Dental Clinic is a group of passionate dentists and dental experts who are committed to providing patients with exceptional dental care in a modern and relaxing environment. We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family.
Call (604) 987-3545 or write us at email@example.com to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team!