The success of man in our world is determined not only by the mind and agility of thinking, purposefulness, charisma and efficiency. An important role is played by self-confidence, charm, and energy. We are shy about bad breath in the morning or at the dentist’s. We are troubled by the stale breathing at the moment of important negotiations or romantic meetings, distracting from work or not allowing us to express our thoughts at the right moment. Halitosis is the medical term of this problem. For some people unpleasant odor from the mouth may lead to psychological problem and it is not only possible to solve it, but it is also necessary.
Are the causes always the same?
Bad breath can occur suddenly, appear periodically or be a constant companion throughout the day.
There are types of halitosis:
True halitosis (when someone surrounding you notices unpleasant breath in you). Its causes can be both in the peculiarities of physiology, metabolism of our body, and may act as a symptom of underlying disease.
Pseudohalitosis (there is barely perceptible stale breathing, felt with close contact with a person, to a large extent the patient himself exaggerates the scale of the problem).
Halithophobia (the patient is dominated by fear and conviction that he smell badly from the mouth).
Depending on whether the patient complains of “morning” breathing (lack of freshness in the oral cavity after awakening) or “hungry” breathing (unpleasant odor on an empty stomach).
The main culprits of physiological halitosis are the plaque on the teeth and the posterior third of the tongue, tartar formation, food leftovers in the mouth, “odorous” foods that the person ate the day before, microorganisms, tobacco, alcohol.
Do you know?
Saliva normally cleans the surface of the teeth and tongue, constantly reducing the activity of microbes due to its composition.
With poor oral hygiene and congestion, microorganisms (mainly anaerobic bacteria) produce volatile hydrogen sulphide as a result of active vital activity, which gives an excruciating shade to the exhaled air. During sleep, when a person is at long rest, the saliva and its movement decrease in the mouth, the bacteria takes advantage and as a result – we feel stale breath in the morning. After brushing and rinsing the mouth, all the processes come into play, the smell surpasses.
Pathological halitosis can arise as a consequence of diseases of teeth, gums, tonsils (oral), and be a symptom of diseases of other organs and systems (GIT, liver, kidneys , respiratory organs, etc.).
We search for the reason in an oral cavity
The main reasons that are in the human mouth and are associated with the appearance of bad breath from the mouth are the following:
- Carious cavities in the teeth.
- Accumulation of plaque in the pathological gingival pockets, formation of calculus (with gingivitis , periodontitis).
- The formation of the gingival “hood” over the erupting wisdom tooth and the ingestion of food residues.
- Stomatitis of different etiology.
- diseases of the salivary glands, in which the viscosity of saliva and its cleansing abilities are sharply reduced.
- Diseases of the tongue.
- The presence of orthopedic structures in the oral cavity (crowns, prostheses, plates and braces in children).
- Increased sensitivity and exposure of the necks of teeth with loss of bone tissue and atrophy of the gums, which makes it difficult to care for your teeth and promotes accumulation of plaque.
- Temporal effects on the composition and properties of saliva can be caused by both medications (antibiotics, hormones, antihistamines) and stress.
- When saliva becomes viscous, it is produced much less, which causes the development of xerostomia (dryness in the mouth).
Halitosis as a symptom of diseases
Unpleasant odor from the mouth can be a symptom of various diseases. In ancient times doctors with the help of assessing breathing and smell could diagnose the onset of the disease.
The extraoral causes of development of halitosis, ie, not directly related to the oral cavity.
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, gastroduodenitis, dysbacteriosis , stomach ulcer, pancreatitis, stomach sphincter deficiency, in which food is thrown back into the esophagus, accompanied by belching and heartburn).
- Diseases of the liver and bile ducts (hepatic insufficiency, hepatitis, cholecystitis ). They are characterized by “fish”, “fecal” smell from the mouth, smell of rotten eggs.
- Chronic infections of the nasopharynx and the areas adjacent to the oral cavity ( tonsillitis , rhinitis, adenoiditis, tonsillitis, sinusitis).
- Respiratory tract infections.
- Kidney failure (odor of ammonia in the exhaled air).
- Metabolic diseases (diabetes mellitus).
How to evaluate your breathing?
Many people who have an unpleasant, repulsive breath, do not even know about the existing problem. It’s good if a close friend or friend points to it. But it is not always possible, relatives are afraid to offend a loved one, and colleagues prefer to reduce communication with him to a minimum. And the problem remains.
There are several ways to test yourself:
- Ask someone from close people to estimate the smell from the mouth.
- Lick your wrist (spoon, napkin), allow to dry and sniff.
- Floss without odor, clean the spaces between the teeth, dry, assess the odor.
- Use a pocket device (a halimeter) to measure the concentration of hydrogen sulphide in the exhaled air. The score is on a scale of 0 to 4 points.
- if you want to know exactly the degree of inclemency of breathing, you can undergo examination on a special ultrasensitive equipment from a specialist.
How to treat an unpleasant smell from a mouth?
First of all, regularly take care of your teeth, tongue & gums. Not only by brushing but with additional means such as dental floss, a scraper for clearing the tongue, rinses that reduce the concentration of bacteria in the saliva. Many people do not suspect that the main accumulation of plaque occurs at the root of the tongue, usually in posterior region.
You need to clean your tongue every day. You can use a toothbrush in which the back of the head there is a rubber stud for this purpose. But in some people, such cleaning causes a strong gag reflex. Specialists have developed special scrapers for these patients to cleanse the tongue. As an option to reduce the emetic desire at the time of cleansing – use toothpaste with a strong mint flavor or hold your breath for the time the scraper touches the root of the tongue.
Even rinsing the mouth with water after eating gives a considerable effect, removing the remnants of food from the folds and not allowing microbes to convert them into acids and hydrogen sulphide.
Oral rinse and toothpastes
For people suffering from halitosis, it is recommended to use products containing such antiseptics as Triclosan, Chlorhexidine, and baking soda.
Now 0.1% chlorine dioxide (anti-microbial agent) claims to eliminate bad breath causing bacteria overcoming the side effects of conventional agents. It is proved that a 0.12-0.2% solution of Chlorhexidine reduces the amount of anaerobic bacteria by 81-95% with a duration of 1.5-3 hours. A good effect is the use of rinsers and toothpastes with Triclosan (0.03-0.05%). Antihalitic effect has toothpastes and gels, which have 3-10% carbamide peroxide. But alcohol based oral rinsers with constant use cause dryness of the mucous membranes in the mouth and a decrease in the secretion of saliva.
Help from nature
To combat bad breath, our ancestors actively used preparations of vegetable and animal origin – propolis, alfalfa, chamomile, echinacea, myrtle, infusion of fresh dill, decoction of tansy with wormwood and yarrow (brewed for 15 minutes). A good, but short-term deodorizing effect gives freshly brewed strong tea. Essential oils (ethereal) reduce bad breath odor for 90-120 minutes (peppermint, tea tree, cloves, sage, grapefruit seed extract). The use of chewing gums gives in this case an even shorter result, masking the smell itself, but not eliminating the root cause.
Independently a person can clean a soft plaque, and more dense formations will be removed only by a doctor with the help of special tools. This is done mechanically or using ultrasound. At the time of cleansing the subgingival plaque simultaneously pathological pockets formed along the roots of the teeth during periodontitis are also flushed.
Plan you treatment.
Bad breath may be a symptom of any chronic disease of internal organs or systems, complex treatment is necessary. The dentist eliminates all the causative factors in the oral cavity (plaque, tartar, chronic inflammation of the gums). Dentist will treat the underlying disease together with other specialists.
The problem of unpleasant odor from the mouth is an ordinary phenomenon, familiar to many. But more often we pay attention to another person and do not suspect the presence of a stale breath at home. Do tests for the smell yourself, because it’s not difficult at all. It is possible that an attentive attitude towards one’s health will return to you a hundredfold. Halitosis, which suddenly appeared in humans, may be the first symptom of serious illnesses and the person who noticed it in time significantly increases the chances of early detection of the problem. Hence, and its timely solution. Love yourself and take care of your health!
Whom to consult?
If you get stale smell from the mouth, you need to go to the dentist, get a professional tooth cleaning done, get rid of tartar, treat dental and gum diseases. If there is no effect, you should consult a gastroenterologist, and also in rare cases – an ENT doctor (for sinusitis or chronic rhinitis), a pulmonologist (with bronchiectasis) and an endocrinologist (with diabetes).
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