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Bad breath and oral malodor are common health problems.
Bad breath and oral malodor are common health problems. Although mint candies, oral sprays and mouthwash products are used in an attempt to solve the problem cosmetically, the real important thing is to look for and find the underlying cause and cure it.
The causes of bad breath can be summed up under the following 2 main categories:
1. Intraoral causes
2. Systemic causes
The leading cause of bad breath attributable to intraoral reasons is a gas called volatile sulfur excreted by dead bacteria, causing bad breath unless the teeth and tongue are brushed regularly. Other reasons that may cause bad breath are cavities, gum diseases and dry mouth, along with smoking habits, outworn dental prosthesis and odorous food.
Bad breath not attributable to intraoral reasons can be a sign of disease, including:
—Sinus infection (sinusitis): Infected mucus dripping out of the sinuses and down the back of the throat can cause your breath to smell bad.
—Inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis): Pus-filled spots on the tonsils can be the cause of bad breath.
—Gastrointestinal diseases: Reflux is a common disease in which gastric acid travels up the esophagus towards the throat, thus causing bad breath.
—Fungal infections of the tongue: Fungal infections at the base of tongue can also be the reason of bad breath.
—Diabetes: Bad breath in especially type 1 diabetes is characterized by a smell resembling acetone.
—Other systemic disorders and medications: Diseases such as AIDS, hormonal disorders, neurological disorders, and some diuretic and antihistamine drugs can cause bad breath.
Maintaining good oral hygiene and making routine visits to the dentist can be helpful in preventing bad breath caused by intraoral reasons. Other steps that need to be taken for a fresh breath are brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing, remembering brushing the tongue as well, avoiding tobacco products and drinking at least 2 liters of water a day.
If bad breath persists despite all, you can make an appointment with one of our specialist doctors for further assessment.
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