What is halitosis?
Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. It can result from poor oral health habits (Not Brushing, Flossing, or Rinsing Properly) and unhealthy lifestyle habits (smoking, alcohol consumption. You can prevent and treat mild halitosis at home. It can have many causes and could be a sign of underlying health problems.
How bad is my Halitosis (Bad Breath)
Many people wake up with smelly breath, often called morning breath. You may also have bad breath on and off throughout the day and not even know it. Here are some symptoms associated with bad breath:
Mild: You may have dry mouth, thick saliva and plaque around the teeth near the gum-line.
Moderate: The symptoms involves a white coating on the tongue, morning bad breath, burning tongue. mucous draining down from the nose to throat.
Severe: A bad taste in the mouth, especially sour or bitter. A persistent foul breath odor may be due to sinus or throat and lung infections. It requires treatment under your dentist’s supervision.
How to manage mild and moderate bad breath?
Keep track of your breath odor using Ankr (myAnkr web portal or the Ankr app). It will help you describe the discomfort to your doctor or nurse.
There are many things you can do on your own to prevent bad breath. These include:
- Brush your teeth at least 2 times every day, using a fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gum line, as well as all tooth surfaces. Each time you brush your teeth, use your toothbrush to clean the surface of your tongue.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove food from between your teeth.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables every day.
- Avoid foods that cause you to have bad breath. Also try to avoid meat and alcoholic beverages, which often cause bad breath.
- Avoid using tobacco products.
- Sometimes a dry mouth has an unpleasant smell. If your mouth is dry, you can suck on sugar-free mints, chew sugar-free gum or drink more water.
- Most mouthwashes do not have a long-lasting effect on bad breath. If you use a mouthwash, swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
- If you wear removable dentures, take them out at night. Brush the dentures and soak them overnight in a disinfecting solution. Removable braces and retainers should also be cleaned. Follow the directions of your dentist.
- See your dentist twice a year.
How to manage severe bad breath?
If you can’t get rid of bad breath on your own, see your family doctor and find out if a more serious problem is causing it. Bad breath may be a sign of a health problem. Sinus infections, chronic lung infections, liver or kidney diseases, and diabetes are some health conditions that may cause bad breath.
What causes bad breath?
- Tobacco products
- Sulphur-producing bacteria in the tongue and throat.
- Poor dental hygiene
- Poor eating habits
- Gum disease (gingivitis)
- Dry mouth
- Infection in the mouth
- Certain cancers and cancer treatments
- Metabolic disorders
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