H - Halitosis / Bad breath (A to Z Challenge April 2014)

The medical name for bad breath is halitosis. It can be an embarrassing problem which may even cause anxiety and depression.

                        

   Causes: 
  • Food - Breakdown of food in and around the teeth can increase bacteria and cause foul odour. Certain foods such as onions and garlic enter the bloodstream after digestion and are carried to the lungs affecting the breath.
  • Tobacco - in the form of smoking or other oral products
  • Poor dental hygiene - Proper brushing, cleaning the tongue and flossing is necessary everyday.
  • Dry mouth - Saliva helps cleanse the mouth, removing particles that may cause bad odour. 
  • Infections - Mouth sores, tooth decay, gum disease, oral surgery wounds eg. after tooth removal.
  • Certain medications
  • Other mouth, nose, throat conditions
  • Certain illnesses - Diabetes, chronic acid reflux, liver or kidney problems, pneumonia, bronchitis.

Treatment and Prevention:
  • Good oral hygiene of brushing twice a day, cleaning the tongue, flossing the teeth everyday.
  • Dental visits and cleanups every 6 months.
  • Treatment of dental disease causing the bad breath.
  • Drinking water to keep the mouth moist.
  • Stop smoking / chewing tobacco products.

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