Halitosis, bad breath: what is this, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention

Breath odor; Bad breath; Halitosis; Malodor; Bad breath; Stink from the mouth; Bad breath; Breath malodor; Oral malodor

Smell from the mouth, also known as halitosis, represents a state, in which a person's breath has an unpleasant odor. This can be caused by various factors, including poor oral hygiene, certain diseases and certain lifestyles.

Causes of bad breath

The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene.. When food particles and bacteria accumulate on teeth and tongue, they can produce sulfur compounds, that give off a strong odor. Besides, gum disease and cavities can also cause bad breath.

Other causes of bad breath include certain medical conditions, such as sinus infections, respiratory infections, bronchitis and even diabetes. Some medications and dietary preferences can also cause bad breath.. For Example, drinking a lot of coffee, alcohol and some spices can cause bad breath.

Bad breath can cause:

  • Tooth abscess
  • Right surgery
  • Alcoholism
  • cavities
  • Dentures
  • Eating certain foods, such as cabbage, garlic or raw onion
  • Coffee and a Poorly pH Balanced Diet
  • Object stuck in the nose (usually occurs in children); often white, yellow or bloody discharge from one nostril
  • gum disease (gingivitis, gingivostomatitis)
  • impacted tooth
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Tonsils with deep crypts and sulfur granules
  • sinus infection
  • Throat infection
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Vitaminnыe supplements (especially in large doses)
  • Some medications, including insulin injections, triamterene and paraaldehyde

Some diseases, which can cause bad breath:

  • Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis
  • Acute necrotizing ulcerative mucositis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Acute renal failure
  • Ileus
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Esophageal carcinoma
  • Stomach cancer
  • Gastrojejunocolic fistula
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Lung infection or abscess
  • Ozena , or atrophic rhinitis
  • Periodontal disease
  • Pharyngitis
  • Zenkera diverticulum

Bad breath symptoms

The main symptom of this condition is bad breath.. This smell can be described as unpleasant, rotten or metallic. In some cases, a person with bad breath may not be able to smell it themselves., but people around you can feel it.

Diagnosis of bad breath

A dentist or doctor can diagnose bad breath, having a medical examination of the mouth and throat, as well as collecting a medical history. They may also use special diagnostic tools, such as a tongue depressor, dental mirror and helimeter (device, used to measure the level of sulfur compounds in exhaled air).

Treatment for bad breath

Treatment for bad breath will depend on the underlying cause.. If the cause is poor oral hygiene, your dentist or dental hygienist will recommend regular oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing twice a day, as well as the use of antiseptic mouthwashes. In some cases, deep cleaning of teeth and gums may be required..

If the cause is a disease, the doctor will treat the underlying disease.

If medication is the cause, your doctor may adjust your dosage or switch to a different medication. In some cases, a change in diet may be required., to exclude foods and drinks, causing bad breath.

Home treatment for bad breath

In addition to regular oral hygiene, there are a few things, that can be made at home, to reduce bad breath. Tips include:

  • Drink plenty of water, to help flush bacteria and food particles from your mouth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or hard candies, to freshen your breath.
  • Scraping the tongue with a tongue scraper to remove bacteria and food particles.
  • Avoid foods and drinks, causing bad breath, like coffee, alcohol and spicy food.

Prevention of bad breath

The best way to prevent bad breath is to practice good oral hygiene.. This includes brushing and flossing twice a day, using an antiseptic mouthwash and visiting the dentist regularly.

Besides, quitting smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as well as a healthy diet can also help prevent bad breath.

In conclusion, bad breath is a common disease, which can be caused by various factors, including poor oral hygiene, health status and lifestyle. Maintaining good oral hygiene is important, visit the dentist regularly and treat any comorbidities, to prevent and treat bad breath.

Used sources and literature

MurrAH. Approach to the patient with nose, sinus, and ear disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 398.

Quirynen M, Laleman I, The Ghost S, DeHous C, Dekeyser C, Teughels W. Breath malodor. In: Newman MG, Takei HH, Bell violence PR, Carranza F.A, eds. Newman and Carranza’s Clinical Periodontology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 49.

Back to top button