What is Halitosis?
Here is a caveat for you! Have you been occasionally experiencing bad breath in your mouth? If that is the case, then please don’t overlook it as a minor problem. You might have been too busy with work, school, or just life in general. For a lot of people, it can be easy to forget the fact that this problem could impede your social and professional growth. Take out a little time for yourself and think out aloud. There might have been instances when one of your friends or colleagues would have commented on your bad breath. Just imagine how humiliating such a situation could have been for you! Even worse is when friends or co-workers notice your breath but don’t anything about it! Knowing what Halitosis is (bad breath), what causes it, and how to treat the symptoms can help improve your quality of life and avoid annoying those around you!
Your acquaintances might have advised you to take mints or chewing gum to cover up your foul breath. People would have either stepped back or covered their noses while
interacting with you. This would have led you traipsing through your city’s drug stores looking for internal breath freshners and mouthwashes as well. Very often, you might be experiencing dry mouth or thick saliva and the situation gets worse and worse day by day.
If you have been experiencing any of the aforementioned situations, then you have a bad breath problem, which is also known as halitosis. Chronic halitosis is a situation when a person emits foul odor from his or her oral or nasal passage. This cannot be expunged through normal hygiene techniques such as brushing or flossing. Halitosis is known to hit all kinds of people irrespective of their age, race, sex or socio-economic status. This ailment has spread like an epidemic and about 50- 80 million people in America alone have been suffering from it.
What are the Potential Dangers of Halitosis?
As a matter of fact, most of the people suffering from halitosis do not realize that they have been suffering from this chronic disease unless someone intimates them about it. Even if people are aware of the fact that they have been suffering from it, most of them are utterly reluctant to visit their dentist or physician. Consequently, some of them even withdraw themselves from social situations so as to avoid embarrassing remarks from others. In some cases, patients have committed suicide as well, in order to, avoid being socially stigmatized.
What are the Causes of Halitosis?
You might be wondering what the possible causes of halitosis could be! Well, there are numerous causes, which have been categorized under dental and medical sections. Let us have a look at them under both the sub-heads:
Dental Causes of Halitosis
. Oral cancers
. Allergy conditions
. Periodental (gum) disease
. Extensive dental decay
. Oral infections or abscesses
. Proliferation of a certain type of anaerobic bacteria
. Oral conditions due to nasal drips or discharges
. Xerostamia (mouth dryness). Certain medications lead to this condition.
Medical Causes of Halitosis
- Lung diseases
- Kidney diseases
- Blood disorders
- Liver diseases
- Tonsilar infections or tonsillitis
- Sinus infections and abnormal anatomies
- Gallbladder dysfunction
- Certain foods
What are the Dangers of Not Treating Halitosis?
It has been discovered by experts that 90% of foul breath cases are caused by poor oral hygiene. When we chew or grind food while eating the bacteria that live in our mouths break down the protein and release a smelly gas known as Hydrogen Sulfide. Even while swallowing the food, certain particles remain trapped between the teeth. Unless you brush your teeth and rinse your mouth properly the bacteria continues acting on the trapped food particles, thereby releasing more and more odoriferous vapors of Hydrogen Sulfide. Dentists refer to these as VSCs (Volatile Sulfide Compounds) since these evaporate even at room temperatures.
Sometimes, bacteria also react with food particles and saliva to form a sticky substance called plaque. If you don’t have the habit of proper brushing, then the plaque irritates the gum, causing tooth decay, gingivitis and the mouth becomes extremely smelly.
So, it is high time you became conscious of the implications of having bad breath and started caring for your oral hygiene.
How Can You Self Diagnose Having Bad Breath?
Unless someone has told you that your breath stinks, it can be very challenging to detect the condition due to being acclimating to how your own breath smells. The medical community has found that individuals who suffer from the condition are able to detect it in others. The most basic means to tell if you have bad breath is to ask a trusted friend or family member to smell your breath. If you don’t have someone like this available, another popular at-home method is to lick the back of your wrist, let the saliva (aka spit) dry for a minute, then smell your wrist but is not perfect. There are also home tests available that use chemical reactions to test for the presence of the compounds which create the bad smell, and of course you can seek a professional test through your physician.
The primary purpose of this website, WhatIsHalitosis.com, is to provide information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for the various causes of Halitosis or bad breath. Since people who suffer from this condition can be very shy or hesitant to discuss it in public, the site aims to help provide a solid baseline of information for individuals to make a decision on what treatment options may be best to pursue to help eliminate their bad breath.