Thursday, December 17, 2015

Preventing Bad Breath

Preventing and battling bad breath is essential to self -esteem. Halitosis or bad breath is an unpleasant condition that's a cause for embarrassment. Some individuals with bad breath are not even aware of the problem and interestingly, some who don't have bad breath are convinced that they do( a condition called halito-phobia).

Bacteria that reside in the mouth, especially on the back part of the tongue are primarily responsible for bad breath Teeth and dentures not cleaned properly harbor odor causing bacteria and produce the foul smelling compounds.

Certain foods like garlic and onions contribute to objectionable breath because they contain odor causing compounds that directly enter the blood stream and then transferred t the lungs where they are exhaled. Until the body eliminates these compounds, oral hygiene will only temporarily mask the odor.

Bad breath is also induced by tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco.  These products also increase the risk for oral and lung cancer.

Dieters can experience bad breath a a result of the breakdown of reserve fat and protein for energy, releasing ketones (organic compounds) in the breath.

Dental and systemic disease are also causes of bad breath. Persistent bad breath and bad taste are warning signs for periodontal disease and may signal other medical disorders like chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, GERD ( frequent reflux of stomach contents), oral and pharyngeal cancer, liver and kidney disease.

Dry mouth is another condition associated with bad breath. Normal salivary flow cleanses the mouth and removes odor causing particles. Dry mouth occurs when salivary flow is reduced as a side effect of medications, salivary gland problems , auto immune conditions  and from mouth breathing.

TIPS for Preventing Bad Breath:

Avoid constant use of breath mints and other hard candies that temporarily mask malodor and lead to decay.

Discuss your medications with a pharmacist, physician and dentist to reduce dosage or substitute medications that cause drying of the mouth.

Adhere to dental hygiene recommendations made by dentist and hygienist.

1 comment: