Bad Breath or Halitosis

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Halitosis is a condition in which the sufferer experiences permanent or periodical bad breath. In most cases of halitosis the cause lies with the millions of bacteria which reside in your mouth and tongue. Certain types of bacteria find your mouth with its moist, warm conditions, to be an ideal breeding ground. Everybody experiences some types of halitosis such as when your saliva levels drop overnight causing 'morning breath'.

Causes of Halitosis

The most common cause of halitosis is poor dental hygiene. If you don't take proper care of your teeth by brushing and flossing, this may cause food debris left inside your mouth to decay and produce foul odors. Ingesting certain substances can often exacerbate halitosis in particular garlic, coffee and cigarette smoke. In some cases halitosis can occur due to medical issues occurring in the mouth or elsewhere in your body. Gum infections, salivary gland issues, diabetes, kidney problems and liver disease can also produce symptoms of halitosis.

Symptoms of Halitosis

For many of those suffering from halitosis the nasty smells pass unnoticed. This is due to the fact that the sensory smells in their nose become used to the smells. The symptoms produced by halitosis largely depend on the underlying cause. For instance if the halitosis has occurred due to poor dental hygiene then dental plaque problems and gum issues should be expected. If infection in the mouth is the cause then the sufferer is likely to experience dental abscesses, swollen gums or sores on the tongue.

The duration of halitosis again depends on the underlying cause. If it is as simple as poor dental hygiene then it is easily reversible by maintaining a good oral health regime. Abscesses and swelling will also respond quickly to the correct treatments. However, if halitosis occurs due to a medical issue this can potentially be a long term problem.

Treatment for Halitosis

The treatment for halitosis depends largely on the underlying cause. There are a number of simple steps you can take to protect against bad breath due to dental problems. For instance, maintaining a decent oral hygiene regime by brushing your teeth, keeping your tongue clean and flossing at least twice a day is commonly recommended. It is also advised that you visit your dentist at least twice a year so that any potential problems can be spotted and dealt with before they become serious.

Halitosis can be prevented by drinking plenty of water every day as this encourages saliva production. Occasionally swishing a small sip of water in your mouth can help to remove any food debris. There are lots of products on the market to help keep your breath fresh including mints, sugar-free gum, mouthwashes and even foods such as raw carrots and celery.

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