At least ninety percent of bad breath is of oral origin, that is, it comes from the odor caused by bacterial decay of food particles and other debris in your mouth. The cleanest human mouth harbors millions of potentially pathogenic bacteria, and given the right set of circumstances, these bacteria decompose food particles left in the mouth. The odor-causing decay products have technical and imaginative names: Hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, dimethyl disulfide, putrescence, cadaverine, skatole, and indole.
Poor hygiene also contributes to bad breath when bacteria putrefy blood that oozes from periodontally diseased gum tissues, creating a particularly revolting and easily identifiable stench. Unclean dentures of any kind can cause bad breath in two ways, first by absorbing odor themselves and by helping to retain food particles.
Just as smelly substances are produced in stagnant water, offensive mouth odors result when the saliva becomes stagnant of diminishes. This is the basic cause of morning mouth, that noxious aroma that is observed upon waking. During the night, salivary glands have slowed their functioning, and fresh saliva is meager, allowing the bacteria in the mouth to multiply. Morning mouth tends to be most potent among those who snore or breathe through their mouths. Morning mouth disappears when you have rinsed your mouth or eaten something such as an apple or a slice of bread.
Morning mouth is also associated with a hunger odor. This is a distinctive odor that accompanies the sensation of hunger. There is some evidence that hunger breath may arise from the putrefaction of pancreatic juices which pass into the stomach during the fasting state. Hunger breath is very apparent if the morning meal is omitted, even after brushing.
A person with bad breath is rarely aware of his or her offense. They cannot detect their own bad breath even when exhaling against their hand, or licking it to test the quality of the odour – both methods are unreliable. He or she usually only become aware that they have it when noticing that people are avoiding them or when someone tells them. Bad breath can come when you least expect it, and it tends to get worse and more frequent as you get older. The intensity of the odor is variable, but researchers usually record the aroma as mild, moderate, pungent, objectionable and very objectionable. I leave it to your imagination to select appropriate examples of this classification.
Halitosis, the technical term for bad breath, or malodor or fetor ex oris, as dentists sometimes call it, can curse those which consume those foods or substances which often cause bad breath: garlic, raw onions, cabbage, horseradish, eggs, broccoli, brussels sprouts, fish, red meat, peppers, cigarettes, alcohol, and coffee, but bad breath can occur even if your diet does not include the above-named food, for the basic causes are always present in the human body: when bacteria in your mouth decompose food, evil-smelling putrefaction products result.
Medical risks for bad breath include bronchial and lung infections, chronic sinusitis, post-nasal drip, tonsillitis. The mucous discharge which comes during cold or flu can create bad breath. Also implicated are untreated nasal polyps, diabetes, syphilis, diseases of the stomach and lungs, liver, kidneys, and there is a type of halitosis that is caused by a gallbladder dysfunction. Altering the diet to reduce the amount of fat intake will often eliminate this type of “pungent” heavy odor. There is a fetid and “fishy” odor associated with chronic renal or kidney failure. Some medications can cause or exacerbate bad breath. Various cancers can cause malodor. You should consult your physician if bad breath becomes chronic and the simple treatments detailed in this report don’t work. However, these problems together affect a very small percentage of people.
Stress or nervous tension is a major enhancer of bad breath. In fact, there seems to be a stress component to most bad breath. One major effect of stress is the drying of the mouth, but stress also aggravates the fulsome odor in other subtle ways. If you have lived through a stressful or unpleasant experience you may have noticed that a case of bad breath also went along with the ordeal. One person developed bad breath during airplane trips. The halitosis promptly went away after a safe arrival. A woman developed bad breath when a man she was dating made advances. Having to give a speech or take an examination or endure some other stress-inducing situation may also bring out a malady, so monitor your emotional state for cues.
Some women have a distinctive and mousy odor associated with the onset of menstruation. This is particularly common in women who suffer from dysmenorrhoea or painful menstruation. The cause is thought to be caused by the rise in estrogens which triggers sloughing of the body’s living tissues, including those of the mouth. More sloughed tissue means more food for bacteria. Usually, the woman is unaware of the odor but is readily apparent to her spouse.
Be aware of the fact that some people don’t have bad breath at all, but merely think they do. That is, they imagine that their oral aroma is more intense and offensive than it really is. Such cases of “imaginary” bad breath are sometimes associated with psychological problems. These sufferers may withdraw from society, develop anti-social behavior, and may even contemplate suicide.
First of all, do common sense things such as thorough brushing to remove food particles. You should also have regular check-ups to correct possible problem areas such as gum disease, carious teeth, faulty restorations, overhanging fillings, leaking crowns, all of which cause food traps.
For those over thirty, the odor of periodontal disease is a particularly revolting and common cause of halitosis and one which is easily treated. If you are afflicted with bad breath, a visit to your dentist to find out your options is definitely in order and should be one of the first steps you take.
Having made certain that your medical, physical, and oral condition is as pristine as possible, you need to be religious in your brushing and flossing and proper diet and all the other good things, your next steps are as follows:
Ensure that you regularly visit us for a checkup and dental cleaning to ensure optimum oral hygiene and dental health.
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