Halitosis

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is breath that has an unpleasant odor. I believe that it is fair to say that most people at some point have experienced bad breath. With others this is a persistent condition. For many people, the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth, particularly on the back of the tongue, are the primary cause of bad breath. The mouth’s warm, moist condition makes an ideal environment for these bacteria to grow. Some types of bad breath, such as “morning mouth,” are considered to be fairly normal, and they usually are not health concerns for some folks but it is my strong belief that this so called “normal condition” is in fact not normal.

The truth is that for most people, halitosis is preventable and curable. One reason why “morning mouth” type of bad breath occurs is because the saliva that regularly washes away decaying food and odors during the daytime diminishes at night while you sleep. Your mouth becomes dry, and dead cells adhere to your tongue and to the inside of your cheeks. Bacteria use these cells for food and expel compounds that have a foul odor. Another reason is that people eat late in the evenings or nights and go to bed before allowing their meal to be properly digested. Drinking beverages with meals before retiring also makes matters worse in that the sugar from the liquids creates fermentation in the stomach as you sleep.  Skipping breakfast can give you bad breath. Eating breakfast gets the salivation going and takes care of the overnight dry mouth phenomenon. So staying hydrated is crucial to good breath. Hydrating your body thoroughly throughout the day and eating a light easily digested supper four to five hours before bed time, without the added drinks, along with proper brushing of teeth, tongue and flossing most likely will change your “morning mouth” or “dragon’s breath” to “baby’s breath”.

Common Bad Breath Causes

If you suffer from chronic, severe bad breath, it’s important to identify the cause so you can determine an effective treatment. Halitosis has many causes, including the following:

Tobacco use . If you smoke, quit. Unfortunately there are some Christians who are still struggling with this destructive habit. Your bad breath may be due to other causes, too, but tobacco use is a guarantee for bad breath.

What you eat, or don’t eat. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions contribute to bad breath, but only temporarily. Once they are absorbed into the bloodstream, the smell is expelled through the breath, but the odors remain until the body processes the food, so there’s no quick fix.

Dry mouth . If your mouth is extremely dry, there is not enough saliva to wash away excess food particles and bacteria, which can cause an unpleasant smell if they build up on the teeth. Dry mouth can be caused also by salivary gland problems, medications or by “mouth breathing” and even poor hydration of your body throughout the day.

Infections . Bad breath that seems to have no other cause may indicate an infection elsewhere in the body. If you have chronic bad breath and your dentist rules out any oral problems, see your doctor for an evaluation. Bad breath can be a sign of a range of conditions including respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis or bronchitis, diabetes, or liver and kidney problems, so it’s important not to ignore the problem.

Poor dental hygiene. Infrequent or improper brushing and flossing can leave food particles to decay inside the mouth.

• Infections in the mouth . Periodontal (gum) disease

• Respiratory tract infections. Throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections

• Systemic illnesses . Diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others

• Psychiatric illness . Some people may perceive that they have bad breath, but it is not noticed by oral-health-care professionals or others. This is referred to as “pseudo halitosis.”

A person may not always know that he or she has bad breath. This is because odor-detecting cells in the nose eventually become accustomed to the constant flow of bad smells from the mouth. Others may notice and react by backing away, holding their breath, turning their heads to the side or even bending down to tie their shoe laces as you speak. This might be embarrassing for you but the good news is that there is a cure.

The best way to improve bad breath is to follow a thorough oral care routine including twice-daily tooth and tongue brushing and daily flossing to remove the food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath. Mouthwashes only improve bad breath for the short term, and if you have a chronic problem, your dentist may suggest an antimicrobial rinse to help keep bacteria at bay.

6 Foods That Fix Bad Breath

Because brushing constantly is impossible, try using breath-busting foods with what’s likely to be handiest.

1. Lemons. Suck on a lemon wedge, or nibble on the rind. Eating an orange is another easy option if you are in a restaurant, where there’s often a citrus garnish; if not, you can order sparkling water with lemon.

2. Parsley and other green garnishes. When your favorite garlic laden dish or onion-topped entree arrives with a few sprigs of parsley on the side, consider it a hint, not just a colorful trim. Chewing on the sprigs releases parsley’s pleasant, breath-freshening oils. Garnishes of fresh basil and rosemary will also work well.

3. Apples and other crisp, fresh foods . They are high in fiber, and all that chewing increases saliva production. This combination acts like a scrubbing rinse for your mouth.

4. Crunchy spices. For a more exotic solution, pick up some anise, cardamom, coriander, and fennel seeds, available in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. Mix equal parts in a small covered bowl, and keep it on the dining room table next to the salt and pepper. Chewing on a few seeds will release enough oil to sweeten after eating curry dinners. Your mouth will also taste amazing.

5. Mint sprigs or cinnamon sticks. Either of these deliciously potent flavors will squelch the sulfurous scent of onion and garlic. Plus, an essential oil in cinnamon kills a nasty type of oral bacteria, discouraging it from setting up house in your mouth.

6. Berries and yogurt. If you can’t get through most days without indulging in foods that are less than breath-friendly, eat for prevention, which is even better than a cure. Consuming half a cup of plain, sugar-free yogurt twice a day can lower mouth levels of hydrogen sulfide (that rotten egg smell). Berries (and melons, oranges, and other fruits high in vitamin C) also deter mouth bacteria. Start and end each day with fruits and you might never have to worry about bad breath again.

Written by Lenworth Frankson from Openface # 83

Sidenote:

One major reason of halitosis which the author hasn’t dealt  is tonsilloliths, which is also known as tonsil stones in laymen terminology. It is almost too disgusting to discuss about this problem which many people suffer unknowingly from and are almost too ashamed to even admit that they have this problem. It is those white foul-smelling, whitish yellow globs of mucus, debris, and bacteria that come out of your mouth sometimes.

If you suspect that you may have this problem use the following method to see if you are a tonsil stone sufferer.

First you may need a mirror and a bright flashlight to examine your tonsil crypts to see if any tonsil stones are lodged there. If you do see any tonsil stones, try using the following techniques mentioned below.

The best tx for tonsil stones is to regularly flush the the tonsil crypts with warm regular or saline water with a  low-pressure waterpik or water jet or with a long tip curved water syringe.

Some people also find relief by gently massaging the tonsilar crypts and dislodging the tonsil stones. Make sure that you first wash your hands and clip your fingernails short.

If the above measures mentioned by Lenword Frankson still doesn’t help your halitosis, check and see if you are suffering from tonsil stones.

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