Chronic bad breath


Halitosis is most often caused by the breakdown of food particles by bacteria that inhabit our mouths. These bacteria are often found under plaque, in the spaces between teeth and gums and in the deeper crevices on your tongue. As the bacteria feed on food debris, they produce a byproduct called volatile sulfur compounds, which includes gases such as hydrogen sulfide which often smells like rotten eggs. Bad breath is also associated with periodontal disease. Pockets are formed in the gums around teeth, and these begin to widen, and break down adjacent gum tissue. The deeper pockets get, the more they capture food, and provide even more places for bacteria to hide. This becomes a vicious cycle as the bacteria grow in ever-increasing pockets, which then produce more and more VSC.

Role of the dentists and other health professionals

Dentists and other health professionals use gas measurement devices called heliometers to determine the quantities of these gases, and to determine where they are coming from. With a combination of professional dental help and special hygiene routines, most cases of halitosis can be successfully treated. After ruling out the mouth, the tongue and infected teeth, the next area to investigate is the nose and the nasal passages. If a person is suffering from sinusitis or another bacterial infection, a blockage of the airway or dry nasal mucous it can lead to bad breath. To discern whether the odor is coming from the mouth or the nose will take the efforts of a dentist or a very good friend.

Important habits to be developed for having a good breath

If the patient breathes our through their nose and the odor is similar to that exiting the mouth, the nose is most likely the culprit. In this case an ear, nose and throat doctor should be contacted for further investigation of the problem. A child may have a foreign object lodged in the nasal passages and that can result in a very bad odor. A dry mouth which can be caused by medications or stress can cause bad breath. If this is the cause some chewing gum to get the juices flowing again should remedy the situation. Flossing is a very important habit to develop. It has been shown that people who make a habit of flossing have cleaner, more pleasant smelling mouths. The floss removes the buildup of bacteria from between the teeth. A Bacterium is lodged in the mouth are a very common source of mouth odor.

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