Imagine speaking to someone and seeing their faces have a weird expression. What could it be? Is it because you are not making sense, or it is your outfit? Your face maybe? If you introspect, it could very well be your breath.
Yes, you might not know, but your breath might have a bad odour. Bad odour? But you do brush your teeth. Then how is this problem arising? There’s more to bad breath than just maintaining oral hygiene. Also known as halitosis or fetor oris, one of the major causes is lack of hygiene, but there might be medical conditions spurring it off, too.
A major cause of embarrassment, as problematic as it might sound, bad breath can be treated easily.
However, before we get into how to fix bad breath, we must understand what is triggering it.
- Tobacco: Tobacco often features as a culprit in several health issues, and bad breath is definitely one of them. Apart from having a specific type of odour that becomes a part of breath when someone uses these products, tobacco is also known to cause gum diseases, another thing leading to bad breath.
- Food: We are what we consume. Therefore, if you happen to have had smelly food, chances are high that your breath will also smell bad. That’s a no-brainer. However, not cleaning the mouth well even after having consumed not-so-bad smelling food can also lead to foul breath. The breakdown of all the delicious stuff you just hogged might not be very well received by your lungs, leading to bad breath.
- Dry mouth: How many times have you woken up with fresh smelling breath? Not many, I guess. You wake up with morning breath or bad breath because you wake up with a dry mouth. Our saliva has more functions than helping us digest, or working overtime when good food is around. Our saliva cleans our mouths naturally, and in its absence, breath smells bad. In fact, a disease called xerostomia could also be the culprit.
- Dental hygiene: No prizes for guessing what the main reason behind bad breath is. Being unhygienic when it comes to oral health is what can lead to people running away from you. When your mum used to ask you to brush at night, you would have been annoyed for sure, but the reason behind that is the fact that not brushing regularly causes a layer of bacteria to build on your teeth. This is called plaque and you must have guessed that it doesn’t smell fragrant!. The same applies to dentures also.
- Crash diets: Your body might be a fan of crash diets, but your breath surely isn’t! When you fast or consume carbohydrate in very less quantity, it could lead to something called halitosis, which means chemicals called ketones are broken down. These ketones are smelly and can make your breath smelly too.
- Drugs: If you are a hygienic person but still have bad breath, look at your medicine closet for clues. There are certain medicines that reduce the production of saliva, which, referring to the dry mouth point above, will lead to bad breath. Again, nitrates used to treat angina, drugs and even tranquilizers are known to produce bad breath.
- Mouth, nose and throat conditions: Did you know that your bad breath can originate from as deep as your throat. When bacteria covered stones reside on the tonsils at the back of the throat, you can be sure that your bad breath is originating from there. In fact, if you have an infection in the nose, throat or sinuses, steer clear of getting too close to others!
- Diseases: Like mentioned above, health conditions might also lead to bad-smelling breath. Cancers, liver failure and other metabolic diseases can cause bad breath, too!
It’s best to consult a dentist to understand where this bad breath is stemming from, This not just saves you from embarrassment, it will also help detect any disease that bad breath might work as a symptom for.
About Dr. Gowtham Kattamuri
Dr. Gowtham has done his BDS from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in 2006 and MDS – Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics from Dr. MGR Medical University in 2010. He is a skilled Endodontist with an experience of over 10 years. Dr. Gowtham is specialized in replacement of teeth, Dental Implants, prosthetics for maxillofacial defects such as artificial eye, ear, nose and orbital defects, Smile Makeovers with laminates, Zirconia, veneers metal free ceramics. He also performs general dental procedures such as restorations and extractions. He also is trained as an International Patient Coordinator.