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Why bad breath appears and how to fix it?

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

Bad breath can not only bother others, but also indicate changes in the body and even some diseases. But what causes it and how to fix it?

The bad thing about halitosis or a persistent, unpleasant mouth odour is that you don’t notice it yourself, since the smell moves away from you when you exhale. This is a common problem. And it is that it affects approximately one in four individuals.

Bad breath can also be a sign of liver, kidney, stomach disease, and even diabetes. So if it persists, you should see a doctor.

However, serious illnesses are much less likely to cause bad breath, contrary to what was previously thought. The probability is around 15%. Studies show that in 85% of cases it arises in the mouth and the most frequent cause is bacteria and substances that interact with our metabolism.

Several types of bacteria live in the oral cavity. For example, the rotten ones. These produce various substances, including smelly sulfur gases; the typical putrid halitosis. 

But the mouth is cleaned with saliva, which contains substances that act against viruses, fungi, and, above all, bacteria. So fight bad breath.

The most common causes of bad breath

However, saliva does not work if the bacteria multiply a lot. In these cases, poor oral hygiene worsens the problem. 

The most common causes are the following:

1. Tongue is white or coated: Bacteria prefer to settle on the back of the tongue. Bad breath arises from this problem in 50% of cases.

2. Periodontitis, or inflammation of the tissues around the tooth. Gum pockets are great for bacteria. Therefore, bad breath is an important indicator that they are inflamed.

3. Dental plaque: Bad breath can also be the result of tooth decay. In fact, all diseases of the teeth and gums can cause this problem. Poorly fitting dentures are also sometimes to blame.

4. Dry mouth: If you have a dry mouth, there is not enough saliva to fight gas-producing bacteria. Your mouth can become dry, for example, if you drink very little or take certain medications.

5. Tobacco: Toxic smoke destroys the oral flora. The mouth becomes drier, bad bacteria multiply, and that can cause halitosis and inflammation.

Also, when you eat garlic, onion or fish, you usually have a bad smell in your mouth for a short time. But after consuming garlic, it can persist, which is due to allicin, a substance that gives this food its characteristic smell.

Seven tips against bad breath

Bad breath itself is not a disease. You can prevent or mitigate it with the following tips.

1. Brush your teeth regularly, at least twice a day. At night, also clean the spaces between the teeth with a floss or interdental brushes. Change your toothbrush every two to three months.

2. Clean the tongue: In most cases, bad breath is caused by a white tongue. Therefore, use a scraper or tongue brush.

3. Rinse your mouth with an infusion of sage. Improves oral flora, provides fresh breath for a short period of time, and protects against plaque and bacteria.

4. Chew sugar-free gum, as it stimulates the flow of saliva.

5. Drink water regularly.

6. See your dentist every six months. A dentist will check your mouth, tongue, gums, and teeth. It can find the plaque that is causing your bad breath, remove it, and clean your tongue. If it finds signs of periodontal disease, it will clean the gum pockets and disinfect the mouth.

7. Get a professional dental cleaning. The specialists will explain to you how you can take care of your teeth and your mouth. Good oral hygiene is important to prevent this problem.

Image Credit: Getty

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