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Bad Breath AKA Halitosis

January 27, 2013

Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is THE most common cause of bad breath.

Bacteria that build up on teeth, tongue and gums can cause plaque (the soft, white deposit that forms on the surface of the teeth), gum disease and tooth decay.
The bacteria combine with saliva to break down food particles and proteins which releases an unpleasant smelling gas.
If you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly, any food trapped between your teeth will be broken down by the bacteria, causing bad breath.
The bacteria can also live in the rough surface of your tongue. Therefore, as well as brushing your teeth, cleaning your tongue can also help control bad breath.
Having regular dental check-ups will ensure any oral hygiene problems are picked up and treated early. Your dentist can advise on how often you need a check-up.

Food

Certain foods cause bad breath, the most common is garlic.

Smoking

Smoking is another cause of bad breath. As well as making your breath smell, smoking also causes staining and loss of taste and irritates your gums.
Smoking also increases your risk of developing gum disease which is another cause of bad breath. Stopping smoking will lower the risk of gum disease and help prevent bad breath.

Crash dieting

Crash dieting, fasting and low-carbohydrate diets can also cause bad breath. These cause the body to break down fat, which produces chemicals called ketones that can be smelt on your breath.

Medicines

Some types of medication can cause bad breath

Medical conditions

Bad breath is sometimes caused by a medical condition, although this is rare.
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition that affects the flow of saliva. This can cause bacteria to build up in the mouth, leading to bad breath.
Dry mouth can be caused by salivary gland problems or continually breathing through your mouth instead of your nose.
Other medical conditions that can cause bad breath include:
lung, throat or nose infections, such as bronchiectasis, bronchitis,,sinusitis, diabetes, gastritis – inflammation of the lining of the stomach and food reflux

– Posted by Dr Bhav

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