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MOUTH ODOUR

Bad breath also known as Halitosis is unpleasant breath that emanates from the mouth cavity. Dr. Harold Katz defines Halitosis as an embarrassing health condition that affects approximately 30% of people around the world.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, in more than 90% of cases, the odour originates in the mouth, throat, and tonsils.

Facts about Halitosis

  • You can have halitosis even if you brush regularly.
  • Halitosis is caused by the gum and tongue-not the teeth.
  • People with bad hardly notice that they have it.
  • People find it very hard to tell you that you have a bad breath except your true friends.
  • Halitosis can lower your self-esteem
  • Halitosis can make people keep their distance from you.
  • The Academy General Dentistry, in more than 90% of cases, the odour originates in the mouth, throat, and tonsils.

Causes

  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia). Decreased saliva secretion can lead to halitosis. Most people experience dry mouth when they wake up in the morning due to lack of saliva production while sleeping.
  • Foods with strong flavor such as onions and garlic cause you to have halitosis.
  • Too much alcohol consumption and smoking can lead to halitosis.
  • Illness and Disease. Research has it that in 10% of all cases, halitosis is caused by certain illness. Individuals suffering from diabetes, lung disease, kidney disease, cancer, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, or metabolic disorders often experience chronic foul breath due to dry mouth.

Knowing Your Breath Status

  • Do it yourself. Lick the inside of your wrist and wait for the saliva to dry. If the area you lick smells unpleasant, it is likely that your breath does too.
  • Tell your trusted friend to be honest and tell you the status of your breath.
  • Or better still visit your dentist.

Prevention

  • Eat foods rich in fiber. High fiber actually prevents halitosis. Avoid eating heavily processed food that contain refined carbohydrates such as cookies, cakes, sweets and ice cream.
  • Use mouthwash. It advisable to use mouthwashes without alcohol in them. The alcohol makes the mouth very dry, which will only worsen the condition
  • Drink green and black teas. They contain polyphenols that eliminate sulfur compounds and reduce oral bacteria.
  • Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty water.
  • Clean your mouth after eating meat, fish or dairy products.
  • Stop smoking. Research has it that smokers are at higher risk of developing periodontal disease and dry mouth.
  • Eliminate dairy products from your diet. Lactose intolerance can be underlying cause of halitosis.
  • Breath through your nose not your mouth.
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