Bad breath or halitosis
The usual causes for bad breath, or halitosis, are poor oral hygiene and areas or cavities in the mouth that easily trap food particles. The surface of the tongue may also have bad-smelling grooves or coats that cause unpleasant breath odour.
In addition, a dry mouth can cause foul-smelling breath. The cause of bad breath is not always in the mouth: reflux symptoms and respiratory tract infections may be the reason for the problem. Smoking and alcohol use also make your breath smell worse.
If the problem is persistent and is not caused by something like eating garlic, you should see a dentist. Mouthwash may provide temporary relief, but it does not usually cure the actual cause of the problem.
What causes bad breath?
The reason for bad breath can be determined in an examination performed by a dentist. The most common causes are plaque and tartar, which the dentist or dental hygienist can remove by cleaning the teeth. If the teeth are in a good condition and there is no plaque buildup, the bad smell may be caused by a coat on the tongue. It can be removed with a tongue scraper or toothbrush.
Rarely, bad breath may be caused by white, bad-smelling bacterial plugs in the tonsils. When these plugs decompose in the mouth, they cause bad odour. You can usually notice this yourself.
Treatment of bad breath
The best method to get rid of bad breath is to treat the cause of the problem, which usually means cleaning your teeth well and taking good care of them. Brush your teeth twice a day, using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Also clean between your teeth every day. Clean the surface of the tongue with the toothbrush or a specific scraper.
If you have difficulty cleaning between your teeth, the dentist can explain the best methods.
It is important see the dentist regularly to have your oral health checked. Tartar removal and replacement of broken or cracked dental fillings help to prevent bad breath.
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