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By Emergency Dentist Dr. Tom Cooke Raleigh NC

Bad breath halitosis
Dealing with Halitosis

It is very hard to feel comfortable as a talker or socializer at work or at play with bad breath, also known as halitosis. Bacteria that normally lives in the mouth is the main culprit in causing bad breath. The natural cleansing mechanism of the mouth is the salivary gland system which produces saliva which is the stuff that keeps the bacteria washed away to a minimum. When the saliva glands under produce the moisture to cleanse the mouth, the bacteria start the odor problem into becoming overwhelming. Morning breath is the term we use when we wake up with a bad smell coming out of our mouth. This is due to the natural decrease in saliva that occurs during a long night of sleep. The low saliva action also occurs when we breathe through our mouths when we sleep. There have been many distinct breath odors that have been related to dental and medical illnesses including tooth decay, lung infections, diabetes, kidney diseases, liver impairments, digestive disorders and many others.

Best bad breath preventer

One of the best ways to prevent or help alleviate bad breath is to brush your teeth after every meal and to floss daily. It is also helpful to rinse with warm salt water to help your gums stay healthy. Other things to help with bad breath are products that help to increase the saliva count and mouth rinses that are geared towards killing bacteria.

• Low saliva

Low saliva is the perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria in the mouth. This condition will cause bad breath or make already existing bad breath worse. When the person has a dry mouth it is referred to as xerostomia . Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications. It is important to check to see if your medication is one of these because the dry mouth from the medication could cause the bad breath problem.

• Medical problems

All diseases that cause dry mouth cause bad breath. There is a disease called sjogrens syndrome. This is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the cells that produce saliva and other moisture producing glands. Women are affected more than men with this disease. Dry mouth or low saliva causing dry mouth is again referred to as xerostomia and may be caused by many diseases such as diabetes, HIV/Aids, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and mumps.

• Dental decay

Dental decay is a major reason why one could have bad breath. The bad mouth odor that many people have comes from bacteria found in decayed teeth. These decaying teeth have food particles trapped in the holes of the broken down tooth structure that give off the foul smell. Tooth decay will cause bad breath and poor dental hygiene. This is another reason why people suffer from bad breath. The smell that is created by the food and the bacteria in the rotting tooth is from a sulfur compound created by the decay mixture.

• Products that help bad breath

There are many products that help people with bad breath. Many of them are products that have an antibacterial agent that helps to control the bugs that cause bad breath. There are other products that increase the saliva in the mouth and these help by naturally cleansing the mouth. There are time released dry mouth patches that will release a formula that will last up to 4 hours in helping bad breath. There are dry mouth sprays,lozenges, chewing gum, toothpastes, and mouth washes that are all targeted towards helping people with bad breath.

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