Halitosis is caused by bacterial activity in the mouth. The mouth is a sort of an environment that has its own population of bacteria inhabiting therein. Approximately 600 types of bacteria are found in the mouth, and these bacteria can cause bad breath. In order to better understand how these bacteria can cause bad breath, it will be better to break down on the parts of the mouth where bacterial activity are so intense as well as hygiene practices that can contribute to bad breath:
Causes of Bad Breathe
- In the tongue: The tongue is the most common area where bad breath originates.
- Due to gum diseases: Gum diseases, particularly periodontal diseases, have an impact on the development of bad breath in the mouth. Bacterial activity in the gums causes the releases of toxins and chemicals that makes one’s breath foul.
- Due to infection of the tonsils: This is a very rare cause of bad breath. This happens when the bacteria causing the infection in the tonsils releases chemicals that get mixed with one’s breathe.
Symptoms of Foul Smelling Breath
The symptom that can readily tell if a person has halitosis is bad breath.
Aside from foul breathe the following are the other signs:
- There is the presence of white nodules in the tonsils. However, a person may not even know of the presence of these nodules as they are partly hidden. In most cases, the nodules can be swallowed. These nodules is the result of the accumulation of the product of bacterial activity, thus causing bad breath.
- There is post-nasal drainage due to sinus conditions and other allergies. This drainage contains a large amount of bacteria from the sinus that makes the dripping foul smelling.
- There is usually a bad taste in the mouth. The bad taste commonly persists even when one changes diet or even when there are changes in the eating time. The bad taste in the mouth is bitter or sour.
- A person with halitosis commonly suffers from chronically dry mouth that does not seem to go away even when one is taking plenty of liquids.
Halitosis Prevention Measures
- Make sure to eat the right kind and amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. Doing so will provide the body with the needed nutrients that can boost the body’s immune system as well as in cleansing the body from bacteria, which may cause chemical reactions in the body such as halitosis.
- Keep the body properly hydrated. When the body is properly hydrated, it allows little room for bacteria in the mouth to accumulate. In this way, halitosis will be kept at bay.
- Proper hygiene is the key. Make it a habit to brush the teeth after every meal in order to take away food particles wedged in between teeth that encourages bacterial growth. When brushing, make sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid wounding the gums. If brushing cannot be done, make sure to at least floss or gargle to help neutralize bacterial activity in the mouth.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking can cause dryness in the mouth, which encourages bacterial growth.
- If halitosis is caused by a certain food type, avoid eating that food in order to avoid having halitosis. This is important especially when one is eating foods that contain onions and garlic.
Halitosis Home Cures
The most common remedy is to brush the teeth regularly. However, even with frequent brushing, the foul odor is still there. One herbal treatment is to use an herb known as herba buena. This is done by lightly grounding the leaf of the herb and then attaching the ground leaf on a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Gargle with lukewarm water with a drop of salt. Allow the salt to melt first and get mixed with the water. The salty composition will help restore the acidity in the mouth and in neutralizing the bacteria causing the foul odor.
- Chewing gum will also help a lot. However, when chewing gum, make sure to use those that have very minimal sugar as high sugar content may even encourage bacterial growth and will help worsen the condition.
- Keep your body hydrated. When the body has enough water, it prevents the mouth from drying up, which can contribute to bacterial growth.
- Drink ginger tea by boiling a few chunks of ginger. Ginger is known to help ion cleansing the body from toxins. However, after drinking the tea, it will be good to brush or gargle with lukewarm water to take away some of the odor that ginger may have left.
Diet to Get Rid of Bad Breath
Diet is one of the many factors that can cause a person having halitosis. As such, it is important that one watches his/her diet in order to treat halitosis. The following are the different diet considerations for those who have halitosis:
- Be sure to take a lot of vitamin C. The best source of vitamin C are fresh fruits, especially through extraction of the juice of fresh fruits. Vitamin C is helpful because an abundance of it creates an environment in the mouth that is inhospitable for bacterial growth. As such, when a person has sufficient intake of the nutrient, he/she will be keeping a distance from halitosis.
- When ingesting a food that causes foul odor, chewing gum is a good substitute for brushing. However, when chewing gum, make sure to choose the sugar free variant because chewing gums that are rich in sugar create an environment that encourages growth of bacteria. On the other hand, the chewing action causes production of saliva that neutralizes bacteria.
- Get a daily serving of yogurt. Yogurt cuts back on the activities of bacteria in the mouth that causes a diminished activity of bacteria, thus reducing the intensity of their activity, which causes bad breath.