Some people suffer from bad breath, and fortunately, most of the possible causes for this problem can be fixed.
To explain the common causes behind bad breath, and how to get rid of them, Live Science presented an article explaining all these details, based on scientific information provided by two dentists: Dr. Ina Chern, of Stony Brook University Dental School and now working in New York City, and Dr. Anjali Rajpal, MD, PhD in dentistry from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts.
One of the main causes of bad breath is bacteria, Dr. Chern said, explaining: “Halitosis is caused by bacteria that live in the layer of dental plaque and tartar. When plaque builds up around the teeth, it harbors odor-causing bacteria.” Maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine should help keep bacteria at bay.
“The most common cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria or fungi on the tongue,” said Dr. Rajpal.
According to the Mayo Clinic, oral thrush, or oral candidiasis, is a common fungal infection that can cause bad breath. While oral thrush is more common in infants or the elderly, it can happen to anyone at any stage of their lives. It could also be due to taking some medications.
3. Dry mouth
Dr. Rajpal explained to Live Science that one of the main causes of bad breath is dry mouth.
Dry mouth occurs when the body does not produce enough saliva. This condition has several possible causes, such as old age, some medications, nerve damage, and some neurological diseases such as dementia. Some health care providers recommend chewing sugarless gum or sweets to help relieve symptoms and encourage the body to make more saliva. Some medications can help boost saliva production if other treatments haven’t worked.
4. Acid reflux
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause bad breath.
Research published in the journal General Internal Medicine in 2008 found a clear link between the two conditions after surveying patients who had experienced reflux to see if they also had bad breath.
Those with reflux may find that their symptoms are caused by certain lifestyle factors, including eating large amounts of food, eating right before bed or lying down, and even eating certain foods, including acidic or fried.
5. Other health conditions
Dr Rajpal revealed that bad breath can be a sign of other health conditions as well, explaining: “Systemic conditions such as sinus problems, tonsil disorders, diabetes, lower respiratory infections, kidney or liver failure or cancers can all contribute to bad breath. foul.”
If you’ve tried a variety of treatments and you still have bad breath, or you have other symptoms, it’s important to see your GP or dentist to help manage the embarrassing condition.
Treatment for bad breath will ultimately depend on the cause of the problem. But there are some general hygiene practices you can follow to help keep your mouth free of odor-causing bacteria.
Certain lifestyle modifications and changes in the diet may help control bad breath.
Dr. Ina Chern recommends the following routine to keep bad breath away:
Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day
Floss or water floss at least once a day
Rinse with mouthwash once or twice a day
See your dental health provider twice a year
If your breath does not improve with a good oral hygiene routine, you will need to speak to your dentist, and a deeper cleaning may be required.
“A proper hygiene regimen is critical to mechanically removing any buildup of soft plaque before it has a chance to mineralize, harden and adhere to the teeth,” explained Dr. Rajpal.
Diet also plays a role in keeping the breath fresh, and this is not just about avoiding foods that contain garlic. “It is important to stay very hydrated and focus on eating a healthy diet that is low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy, crunchy foods, green vegetables and probiotics to reduce the ability of bacteria to grow in the oral environment,” explained Dr. Rajpal. Alkaline foods include green vegetables, nuts, citrus fruits, and other whole foods.
Source: Live Science
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