Halitosis (Bad Breath): Causes, Treatment and Prevention

February 2, 2022


What is halitosis?

Halitosis is a dental health issue where the main sign is bad-smelling breath. It is one of the most common reasons that people seek dental care after gum disease and tooth decay. In many cases, finding out the cause of the bad breath is key towards treating this condition. 

What causes bad breath?

There are many possible causes for bad breath in your mouth. They include: 

  • Food: Eating particular foods such as spices, garlic can cause bad breath. Once they are digested, they enter the bloodstream and into your lungs affecting your breath.  
  • Tobacco: Smoking causes bad mouth odor. Research shows that smokers are also more likely to have gum disease which can also cause bad breath. 
  • Poor oral hygiene: If you don’t brush regularly, food particles remain in your mouth causing a bad odor. Without brushing and flossing daily, plaque forms on the teeth and can irritate your gums eventually causing periodontitis. 
  • Dentures that are not regularly cleaned or do not fit properly can hide bacteria and food particles that cause bad breath.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva helps cleanse the mouth and remove particles that cause unpleasant odors. A dry mouth can contribute to bad breath and other diseases. 
  • Medicines: Some medications can indirectly cause bad breath by contributing to dry mouth. Some are broken down in the body and release chemicals that end up in your breath. 
  • Mouth Infection: Unpleasant mouth odor can be caused by surgical injuries after dental surgery or as a result of mouth sores, gum disease, or tooth decay. 

When to see a dentist 

If you have bad breath, you should check your dental hygiene habits. Try making lifestyle changes such as drinking plenty of water, brushing your teeth after eating, and using dental floss. If the odor persists after making these changes, you should see your dentist for a thorough checkup. 

Schedule an Appointment at Arrow Dental Centre

What is the treatment for halitosis?

The best method to reduce halitosis is good oral hygiene. This ensures that cavities are avoided and reduces the likelihood of gum disease. It is recommended to visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning your teeth at least twice a year. The dentist might recommend a toothpaste or mouthwash with antibacterial agents. 

In case gum disease is present, professional cleaning at a dental clinic is necessary to clear out the build-up of bacteria. 

How can I prevent halitosis?

There are several effective and easy ways to reduce or prevent bad breath. They include: Good oral hygiene. You should brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles. Make sure to brush after you eat and use a tongue scraper. It’s recommended to replace your toothbrush every 3 months. 

Regular floss. Use dental floss or denture cleaner to remove food debris stuck between the teeth. 

Antibacterial mouthwash. Rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash regularly can help remove bacteria that cause bad breath which can lead to gum disease. 

Visit the dentist regularly. You should see your dentist at least twice a year for an oral checkup and professional teeth cleaning. They can help in identifying and treating conditions such as dry mouth or periodontal disease that could cause bad breath. 

Stop smoking or chewing tobacco products. 

Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist. This helps in washing away food debris and bacteria. 

Eat more fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, and others. They help in clearing odor-causing plaque and food debris from the mouth. 

Arrow Dental Centre offers chronic halitosis treatments and relief in Nairobi. Schedule an appointment with us for a thorough oral examination.   

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