HALITOSIS

Source: www.africanakua.com | Joshua Gokah, Ghana

How much knowledge do you have about bad breath? This article proves to be helpful.

Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits.

Poor oral hygiene allows food particles to collect on the surface of the tongue, between the teeth or along the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth.  Bacteria in the mouth then break down those food particles, releasing chemicals that have a strong odor. It may also be a sign of other health problems. It is a symptom in which a noticeably unpleasant breath odour is present when the individual speaks.

CAUSES OF HALITOSIS

1. Dry mouth or the absence of saliva

2. Alcohol consumption

3. Smoking

4. Hormonal changes

5. Medications that have a history of causing dry mouth

6. A diet high in proteins (dairy foods, red meats, beans)

7. Infections in the mouth

Now let us consider the first cause of halitosis and discuss its treatment and preventions. In subsequent articles, we shall consider the rest of the causes and discuss their treatments and preventions as well.

DRY MOUTH OR ABSENCE OF SALIVA

Saliva helps wash food particles from the mouth, therefore,  people with a dry mouth will surely have greater remains of food particles which can cause the odour.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

1. Unpleasant taste in the mouth/ sour taste

2. Realizing an unpleasant scent from the mouth

3. Extremely dry mouth and coating on the tongue

TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

1. Chewing gum

2. Tongue brushing

3. Using non alcoholic mouth washes after brushing

4. Clean the mouth immediately after eating meat, fish and diar products

5. Avoid taking products that contain alcohol since it can cause dryness of the  mouth

6. Drink green and black teas: They contain polyphenols that help eliminate sulfur compounds and reduce oral bacteria.

7. The underlying infection causing the bad breath, eg: disorders of the sinuses, nose, esophagus, should be treat.

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