Bad Breath Attack: Causes & Avoidance
Source: Open Talk Magazine 28/01/2011 08:35:00
We’ve all at one point experienced bad breath (also known as Halitosis), and while never intentional, we manage to become victims of our hygienic malpractices. Who do you know deliberately wants to be labelled as neglectful? Odour tells much about a person. It’s the one thing that builds a first impression that marks and stays.
Some people may go unaware that they are suffering from oral malodour, simply because others are embarrassed to reveal the painful truth without hurting one’s feelings. For those who are unsure if bad breath is running rampant, here are a few signs to look out for:
- white or yellow film on the tongue
- gum abscesses
- mouth sores that heals and reappears without proper treatment
- people avoiding direct contact with you
- dry mouth or xerostomia
- being offered chewing gum and breath fresheners
- bad taste in the mouth
- plaque-formation or soft deposits that have started to calcify.
If any one of these signs is showing, visit your dentist immediately.
What are possible causes of bad breath?
Within the confines of the Dental Office, your dentist may be able to pinpoint a handful of things causing bad breath. Some may include:
- multiple cavities
- food impaction that stayed for a decade
- gum infections which has severed over the years
- faulty restorations or fillings
- improper caring for fixed and removable dentures
- accumulation of yellow film on the tongue and soft tissues
- failure to visit the dentist for regular oral prophylaxis bi-annually
90% of bad breath issues are directly related to how well you maintain your oral hygiene. The other 10% can be related to a medical condition.
There are certain medical conditions that may be contributing to bad breath that go way beyond your control. These include:
- gastro intestinal disorder
- irregular bowel movement
- liver disease
- chronic sinusitis
- postnasal drip
- kidney failure
Certain drugs and medications prescribed by doctors can induce bad breath. These prescribed medications dry the mouth and the nose and cause reduced salivation. Reduced salivation causes Xerostomia, or dryness of the mouth, and creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth and thus, leads to bad breath.
What can you do to avoid bad breath?
To avoid bad breath, it’s best to start with proper oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing after meals control food debris from accumulating on the surfaces of your teeth, and never neglect the tongue. The tongue is the breeding zone for most bacteria. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid eating too many sweets—especially gummy candies. Try not to skip breakfast or it will alter your salivary flow. Use water-based mouthwash— as alcohol-based mouthwash over dries the oral flora that leads to xerostomia which encourages bacterial growth and retention.
It’s never too late for you to find out what’s causing bad breath, but it’s important to get proper treatment. Set an appointment with your family dentist and if you don’t have one, get a recommendation from a friend. Never discount the fact that you should see your dentist twice a year for thorough oral prophylaxis and gum care. Professionals are there to help you with matters you may not clearly understand. The more severe the case, the more you need to be treated by a professional to eliminate the cause in the matter.