Halitosis means bad and malodorous breath.
If the bad smell appears to be so intense in terms of quantity and quality to interfere with our social activities and relationships, halitosis acquires pathological aspects. Halitosis might occur at any age and it can be temporary or persistent.
Bacteria are responsible for the bad smell.
In the mouth there are on average 50 billion of these microorganisms. Anaerobic bacteria are the main responsible for the halitosis because they produce volatile sulphur compounds that cause the typical putrescent smell.
How can you verify your breath?
A technique to understand independently if you suffer from halitosis is to smell residual odours of your own saliva. This is the technique: lick the back of your hand (clean and without any fragrance substances), wait two minutes, and smell your hand.
Are there any self-medication drugs or any natural remedies to solve the halitosis problem?
Drugs and fragrance compounds promoted as remedies for halitosis last only a matter of minutes and they completely lose their efficiency.
If you do not want to waste your time unnecessarily and you want to fix the problem, make an appointment with a qualified professional from the “Centro Odontoiatrico Grimaldi” and obtain a specific diagnosis.
10 Halitosis main causes
1) Oral hygiene. Leftovers on your teeth, if not removed carefully, can produce bacteria that cause volatile compounds responsible for the halitosis.
2) Periodontal disease. Periodontitis is an inflammation of the gingival tissues and of the alveolodental ligament, that causes the formation of periodontal pockets where the leftovers settle. Material in these pockets causes the dental mobility that can lead to the tooth loss, in addition to the halitosis.
3) Caries and broken fillings. Caries are dental cavities where bacteria and leftovers are settled, both responsible for the halitosis. A broken filling generates cavities as well where leftovers are settled.
4) Removable denture. Removable denture obstructs the salivary cleansing, causing a greater difficulty to swallow the leftovers; furthermore, it is not easy to sanitize it.
5) Dry mouth (xerostomia). Saliva contributes to the self-cleansing of the mouth. In case of a decrease in saliva flow, you might have dry mouth, with a greater stagnation of plaque and leftovers.
6) Morning breath. Oral breathing during the night reduces the salivation causing halitosis, as the previous one (xerostomia).
7) Smoking. Smoking causes bad breath (in addition to stains, tissues irritation, reduced taste, and increased risk of periodontal disease), because it causes a decrease in salivary flow. Furthermore, residues of tobacco that stick to the teeth and to the mucous membranes of the mouth nurture the growth of bacteria, responsible for the halitosis. Try to quit smoking or to reduce the consumption of daily cigarettes.
8) Nutrition. Along with garlic, onion and cauliflower, the high consumption of protein-based food with sulphur amino acids (like meat and cheese) or alcohol can cause halitosis because of substances that enter the blood, are moved to the lungs and are exhaled. The use of toothbrush, dental floss and mouthwash can temporarily conceal the smell, that disappears only when the organism removes the substances responsible for the halitosis. If you are worried because your halitosis is persistent, make a food list to verify if this problem is caused by your nutrition.
9) Hormonal factors. Halitosis can be connected to hormonal factors as pregnancy and menstrual cycle.
10) More causes. In a small percentage of cases, halitosis can be indicative of more health problems, like a respiratory tract infection (nose, throat, trachea, lungs), chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal and renal disorders, liver disorders. Once it is excluded that halitosis is originated by oral or nutrition disorders, it could be necessary to carry out verifications to find the cause.