Halitosis or Bad Breath: Combating The Social Stigma

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Halitosis or Bad Breath

We as dentist are often faced with the complaint of bad breath in the clinic. If you feel you have got bad breath, you are not alone. One in four Nigerians has bad breath. Its common place to see ladies and guys constantly popping mints and chewing gum trying to cover their bad breath situation so to speak.

Some individuals practice good dental hygiene but still come down with a bad case of halitosis. But what’s really causing your stinky breath in the first place?? Is that condition affecting your relationship as we speak? Most relationships, marriages are currently breaking up because of this condition.

When you eat, food gets stuck in-between your teeth and gums and on your tongue and this would ultimately emit foul odors and decay on teeth

An unclean mouth also means that bacteria can grow, potentially leading to gum disease, which is also one of the causes of bad breath. In addition, certain foods and drink are more likely to cause bad breath, including Garlic, Onions, Cheese, chocolate bars Orange juice etc.

Aside from what you eat and drink, bad breath can also be linked to xerostomia or dry mouth- Saliva is your mouth’s natural cleanser, so when your mouth is dry, dead cells can build up, which is what causes morning breath. This is an even bigger problem if you sleep with your mouth open. Smoking and certain medications can also cause dry mouth. In more extreme cases, you could have a problem with your salivary glands that leaves your mouth unusually dry.

Tobacco products’, particularly smoking is another root cause of halitosis. Tobacco products can dry your mouth and result in bad breath. People who use tobacco are also at greater risk of developing gum disease, poor general oral health, and oral cancers.

Other causes of bad breath have been strongly related to chronic kidney diseases, liver failure, and Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) Ear nose and throat conditions

To combat bad breath, try the following:

  • Proper home oral hygiene regimen
  • Drink lots of water to keep your mouth moist and clean
  • Effective Brushing technique, brushing for two to three minutes after every meal and flossing at least once a day.
  • Brush your tongue with a tongue scraper gently to remove dead cells, including the back of your tongue, because that’s where bacteria often collect.
  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.
  • Use of prescribed mouth rinse by the dentist
  • Avoid or reduce dietary consumption of Garlic, Onions, Cheese etc. a diet chart may become necessary to highlight when you notice bad breath and the time of occurrence
  • Minimizing your intake of alcohol and take steps to curb the smoking habit if any
  • Get dental checkups at least twice a year that include an exam and cleaning.
  • If you wear dentures, bridges, or removable braces, clean them thoroughly at least once a day and always keep your appointments with the dentist regularly

When to See Your Dentist about Bad Breath

If you still feel like you have bad breath after trying these tips visit the dentist immediately for a thorough clinical exam to uncover what could be causing your bad breath. The dentist will likely ask you a number of questions, ranging from your dental hygiene habits to your general health and referrals to other specialist in the field of medicine associated with the problem

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Dr. Ogundeji is an enthusiastic and passionate dentist with interest managing challenging oral health issues. He is a dental health blogger (Drogundeji.com) and creative writer to dental blogs around the world, an entrepreneur and business development strategist. He lives in Lagos Nigeria and married with children. he currently works with Platinum Dental Surgery

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