Halitosis, otherwise known as bad breathe, is described as a bad smell that comes from the mouth when one exhales. Bad breath may come from the mouth or from an underlying medical condition such as respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections and sinuses among others. Most causes of bad breath can be controlled or managed. Bad breath has been classified in to two categories. The first is transient whereby it disappears after flossing, eating or brushing the teeth. The other type is transient which may require a person to seek medical help.
Causes of Halitosis
The following are some of the causes of bad breath:
- Aromatic foods such as garlic and onions are a common cause of bad breath amongst most people. The chemicals that are contained in these foods are absorbed by the intestines and go in to the blood stream. The blood then reaches the lungs where the chemicals are then released into the breath.
- When we eat, small particles of food are usually trapped in between the teeth. The usual bacteria inside our mouths start to feed on these particles of food. When the bacteria start to breakdown the food, it results in a fowl smell emanating from the mouth unless we brush our teeth to get rid of the bacteria and food particles.
- Gingivitis, or an infection of the gums, can cause bad breath. Poor oral hygiene leads to a build-up of plaque which causes bad breath.
- Tooth abscess and cavities are the root causes of bad breath. The bacteria from the tooth abscess and cavity can cause bad breath
- Smoking causes bad breath in three ways. First of all, the smoke remains on your breath and results in the bad breath. The second way is that smoking contributes to gingivitis which contributes to halitosis. The third way is that smoking significantly dries up the mouth which results in bad breath.
- Alcohol is volatile meaning that it easily evaporates into the air. When you consume alcohol, it is absorbed into the bloodstream. As the blood is passed through the lungs, alcohol can be released into our breaths causing bad breath.
- Underlying medical conditions such as sinuses, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections and kidney and liver disease can be causes of bad breath.
- Medications that cause a dry mouth have been known to contribute to bad breath. Saliva usually acts as a cleanser for the tongue and the mouth. When the mouth becomes dry, it creates a ground where bacteria can build up and cause the breath to stink.
Symptoms of Halitosis
The following are some of the symptoms of bad breath:
- A self prognosis can tell you whether you have bad breath. The first test is to lick the back of your hand and let the saliva dry. Once it dries, you can smell it. You can also try and scrape the back of your tongue and smell the residue once it dries.
- Another way of telling whether you have bad breath is to use a halimeter which can be found in most hospitals. They work by measuring the level of sulfur emissions in your breath. The device requires one to avoid alcohol, garlic and onions for a period of 24hours before being tested.
Halitosis Home Remedies
Halitosis can be quite embarrassing especially when you are around people that you care about. Mouth wash and brushing your teeth will help you to manage halitosis but there are other ways that you can also use to help you manage the condition in addition to oral hygiene. The following are some of the halitosis home remedies that you can use: Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies and herbal remedies that you can try.
- Chlorophyll Treatment– First, and perhaps most popular is the use of a kind of natural breath freshener referred to as chlorophyll treatment. This is simply a fancy way of telling you to incorporate more green into your diet, that is, vegetables. It is widely known that green vegetables actually help prevent bad breath. It may not be necessary, or even practical to eat large portions of vegetables; a better idea would be to have an extraction process that allows you to get these benefits without having to turn into a vegetarian.
- Try This– Use a variety of herbs that are used to cleanse your Gastro-intestinal tract. Bad breath is mainly the result of a diet with a high volume intake of meat and dairy products. Such herbs include Aloe vera resin, rhubarb, senna leaves, among a long list of colon cleansers. A clean colon ensures that there is no foul smell emanating from your stomach; hence, no bad breath.
- Try This Herbal Tea– Herbs that improve your digestion can also come quite handy when trying to get rid of bad breath. This is where the inclusion of herbal teas becomes an important aspect of your daily routine. Such herbs as cardamom, peppermint, cinnamon and other herbal tea varieties are very useful in helping you no just to get rid of bad breath, but also in improving overall body health.
- Ginger– The use of Ginger extracts has also been an age old, lasting solution for halitosis. It has the effect of cleaning the gastro-intestinal tract, which is usually the source of bad breath. What it essentially does is to treat the acid dyspepsia caused by people who eat lots of meat products. This results in a spicier, better breath.
- Avocado– Indigestion may cause someone to have bad breath. As food breaks down, bacteria from the stomach can produce foul smelling gases which might be expelled through the mouth. A slice of avocado is a quick remedy for halitosis. Avocado helps food to decompose much faster and gets rid of bad breath.
- Try This Halitosis Home Remedy– Chewing on some foods might help to reduce halitosis. Certain foods such as cardamom are effective in reducing bad breath. It helps especially after consuming foods that contain onions or garlic. Mint leaves are also effective in reducing bad breath.
- Tea– There are certain teas that can be quite effective in reducing bad breath. These teas can either be drank or gargled. Teas such as pepper mint, green or black tea are known to reduce bad breath. These teas contain chlorophyll and polyphenols which kill bacteria in the mouth thus resulting in fresh breath.
- Essential Oils– Essential oils such as tea tree oil have disinfectant properties which help to get rid of bacteria that cause bad breath. Other oils such as almond, peppermint, lime and lemon are also effective. These oils can be used for brushing your teeth by simply putting a few drops on your tooth brush. You can also add a few drops in a cup of water and gargle or rinse your mouth with it.
- Fruit and Vegetable Juice– Juices from raw fruits and vegetables are effective in reducing bad breath. These juices are believed to reduce the bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Baking Soda– It is also recommended that you gargle using baking soda. Other remedies include mixing apple cider vinegar and water then rinsing your mouth with the mixture. You could also mix a tea spoon of salt with water and rinse with the mixture.
Diet for Halitosis
Aside from oral hygiene, there are a few things that you could include in your diet that will help you deal with bad breath. Most health care experts advise that if you find that you have bad breath then there is something missing from your diet. The following are some of the things you can include in your meals that can help you to get rid of bad breath:
- There are certain foods that you can chew on after meals to help you fight bad breath. These include rosemary, eucalyptus, spearmint, coriander and terragon among others. Not only do these herbs improve your breath, they also aid in digestion. Therefore you will have killed two birds with one stone.
- Recent studies show that yoghurt helps to reduce bad breath. It acts by reducing the amount of bacteria in the mouth thus reducing the rate at which you develop gum diseases and plaque. Yoghurt is also rich in vitamin D which provides an unsuitable environment for the growth of bacteria. The key is to purchase yoghurt that has active cultures instead of the over processed yoghurt that has artificial sugars.
- You can chew on foods that are rich in fiber such as celery, carrots and apples. These foods increase saliva production in the mouth. This helps to keep you mouth rinsed out because saliva also acts as a cleansing agent for your mouth.
- Even though sugar les gum should not be replaced with brushing your teeth, it is a good way of masking bad breath. It also increase saliva production and ensures that your breath is fresh
- Including foods that are rich in vitamin C in your diet is another way of ensuring that you have fresh breath. Not only do these foods help to prevent bad breath but they also prevent gum disease. It is advisable to take natural foods that are rich in vitamin c as opposed to supplements.
Prevention of Halitosis
The following are some of the ways that you can use to prevent bad breath:
- Ensure that you observe proper hygiene by brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing. This helps to get rid of bacteria and prevent the build up of plaque which is the reason behind bad breath.
- Avoid bad habits such as smoking which contribute to bad breath. Smoking causes a dry mouth which encourages the build up of bacteria. This can cause gum disease and eventually lead to halitosis. Alcohol consumption should also be reduced. Alcohol is known to get into the blood stream and get into our breaths through the lungs. The smell can be quite offensive to other people.
- Certain foods are known to be responsible for bad breath. Foods such as onions and garlic cause bad breath because they are absorbed in to the intestines. They are in turn released into our breaths as the food digests. This can be offensive to most people.
- A balanced diet also prevents bad breath. This is because a balanced diet contains vitamin C which contributes to healthy gums thus preventing gum infection.
- Avoid using toothbrushes with hard bristles while brushing your teeth. This is because they cause damage to the gums which could in turn lead to gum infections. Gum infections are likely to lead to bad breath.
- Ensure that you visit your dentist for regular check up and teeth cleaning. This will ensure that you have healthy teeth and fresh breath.
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