Bad breath, called halitosis in medical terms, can be very annoying and embarrassing. Just imagine, every day you have to interact and talk with many people but it turns out that your bad breath makes people reluctant to be close to you. This condition definitely makes the people around you and yourself uncomfortable. In order to do that, you need to understand all about bad breath or halitosis.
What is halitosis?
Halitosis or bad breath is caused by bacteria that grow and multiply in the mouth. As a result, when you open your mouth or exhale through your mouth, you will come out with an unpleasant smell.
Who gets halitosis?
Bad breath or halitosis is a common problem. Anyone can have bad breath. Even a survey shows that 25% of the world’s population has bad breath problems. This means that in every four people, one of them has bad breath.
However, sometimes those who have bad breath don’t realize their problem. People also tend to be reluctant to tell you if you have bad breath problems. So, it is very important to regularly check the smell of your own breath to avoid halitosis. The trick is to lick the inside of your wrist. Wait a moment until it’s a little dry, then smell your saliva. If you have a bad smell, it means you have a bad breath. Another way is to directly ask the dentist or the people closest to you.
What causes bad breath?
There are many things that can trigger or worsen bad breath. To find out what causes, pay attention to the following things.
1. Dry mouth
Bad breath caused by dry mouth occurs due to a lack of saliva production in the mouth. Saliva, also known as saliva, cleanses the mouth naturally. If your mouth is dry, then bacteria and germs will nest comfortably in your mouth. These bacteria and germs cause bad odors . Dry mouth itself is triggered by dehydration , a side effect of medications that are currently being consumed, or if you have recently had radiotherapy around your neck and head. Dry mouth is also the reason behind bad breath when you wake up in the morning.
2. Food, drink and medicine
The chemicals in the food, drink, or drugs that you consume can be absorbed by your blood and exhaled through your lungs. That is why your breath will smell bad after you eat foods or drinks that have a strong aroma, such as onions, petai, and durian. Food debris left on your teeth can also spread a bad smell in your mouth.
The strong aroma of tobacco will not easily wash off in your mouth. Smoking also increases your risk of gum disease, which means that you are more likely to experience bad breath.
4. Certain diseases
Several types of diseases can cause bad breath. One of them is gum disease and plaque. Plaque that appears on the teeth is formed when saliva mixes with food debris and bacteria. Plaque will stick to the surface of the teeth and cause bad breath. Gum disease occurs when the tissues surrounding the teeth become inflamed. The characteristics are reddish gums or if your gums bleed frequently.
Other diseases such as sinus itis or bumps on the nose can also cause bad breath odors. Especially in children, this unpleasant smell occurs when they breathe through their nose or mouth.
Certain types of cancer can cause bad breath, for example oral cancer. Likewise with various diseases of the liver and metabolism, bronchitis, and pneumonia . These diseases produce chemicals that trigger halitosis. However, cases like this are rare.
What can be done to keep your mouth fresh and not smelly?
To maintain freshness and oral health, you must be diligent in maintaining oral hygiene. You need to brush your teeth cleanly at least twice a day and flossing (the activity of cleaning between teeth with floss or dental floss ) you need to do every day. Brush your teeth for three minutes and reach each area in the mouth. You also have to be diligent about changing your toothbrush, which is once every three to four months. If you feel necessary, you can also use an antiseptic dessert product. It is better to consult with your dentist what products are suitable for you to avoid bad breath.
Avoid odor-producing substances such as cigarettes or chewing tobacco . If you eat foods such as onions and durian, make sure you drink plenty of water so that the production of saliva in your mouth doesn’t interfere. That way, saliva will also clean your mouth from various unpleasant odors and bacteria or germs that stick.