Know the causes of bad breath

Having bad breath is a condition that causes shame, low self-esteem and insecurity in relationships with others. Nobody wants to have it and, in general, it is difficult to recognize it. If it is happening to you, do not be discouraged: bad breath may disappear, but you have to find the cause to fight it. It is important that you do it because in addition to annoying and unpleasant it can be a sign that something is not right with the health of your mouth or your body in general.

When Ramiro consulted me about a persistent sore throat that was not relieved, he did not even want to open his mouth to have it checked. He felt so badly breathless that he was embarrassed to move near other people. Like Ramiro, there are many others who suffer from this condition, but you do not have to sit idly by, let alone isolate yourself, but look for the cause and the solution.

Bad breath  is a condition that is medically known as halitosis , a word that comes from the Greek term halitus , which means breath, exhalation or breath, and can be due to different causes.

In most cases, bad breath has to do with an oral problem and is resolved with good oral hygiene. The condition, however, may also have other origins. Some reports indicate that about 87% of cases of bad breath are due to oral problems and 13% to other reasons. That is why it is important that you consult a dentist and / or a doctor so that they can evaluate you and that they can find the cause of the bad breath and, in this way, the solution is determined.

One of the most common causes of bad breath is food that accumulates in the teeth, gums and tongue. To avoid this, it is important that you brush frequently and correctly , and that you wear good oral hygiene (the same for dentures, which can also accumulate bacteria that cause bad odor, if not cleaned properly).

Similarly, bad breath can appear if you have infections in the mouth and / or throat, either by infections (caused by bacteria, fungi, etc.) or due to tooth decay, among others. One of the main characteristics of periodontal (gum) disease is precisely halitosis.

Another condition that can cause halitosis is having a dry mouth, something that is also called medically with a rare name: xerostomia . In those cases, as there is little production of saliva, the mouth can not clean itself. Dry mouth may be due to breathing through the mouth, to dehydration, to sleeping with the mouth open, to have some disease of the salivary gland and / or to take certain medications.

On the other hand, some foods can cause bad breath. This is the case of garlic and onions, for example, which are absorbed from the digestive system to the blood and pass to the lungs where they affect the air that is exhaled through the mouth and nose.

Some medications can also cause bad breath and, of course, smoking or chewing tobacco leaves its characteristic smell not only on clothes and in the environment but also in your mouth and in your body.

Sometimes, bad breath or halitosis has to do with other health problems, which should also be treated. Among them:

  • Diseases in the lungs, some respiratory infection or chronic bronchitis .
  • Infection or problems of the nose (such as sinusitis  or nasal polyps), trachea or lungs.
  • Diabetes.
  • Problems in the liver, kidney or digestive system.

All these conditions need different and appropriate treatments, and once the controls will surely also disappear bad breath. That’s why it’s important that you do not feel embarrassed. If your mouth has an unpleasant smell, do not let it pass and solve your doubts with a professional who can advise you on your condition.

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