Bad breath

Bad breath or Halitosis as it is medically known can be an embarrassing condition to contend with. It affects your rapport with colleagues or classmates.

There are plenty of causes of bad breath .Here are some of them;

1. poor oral hygiene .                                                                                                                                                  

2. Gum disease..

3. Dental caries.

4. Respiratory tract infections.

5. Food and drink. Under food we have garlic and onion as some of the commonest causes while under drink we have alcohol as a major contributing factor.

6. Smoking

7. Crash dieting and fasting- this produces an environment in the body that enhances production of ketones – which can be smelt

8. Some types of Medication i.e

• Nitrates – which are sometimes used to treat angina (chest pain caused by a restriction in the blood supply to the heart)

• Some chemotherapy medication

• Tranquilisers (phenothiazines)

9. Medical conditions

i)  Dry mouth also known as xerostomia

ii) Respiratory tract diseases e.g  bronchitis, sinusitis

iii) Diabetes

10. Halitophobia- Some people are convinced they have bad breath when they don't. This psychological condition is called halitophobia.

People with halitophobia are paranoid about the smell of their breath. They often misinterpret other people's behaviour and comments, thinking they're suggesting they have bad breath. They become fixated with cleaning their teeth, chewing gum and using mouth fresheners.

Treatment for halitophobia involves talking therapies and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to help the person overcome their paranoia and fixation on the smell of their breath

Here are some of the recommendations of managing of the above mentioned conditions;

1. Tooth Decay is an important causative agent of Halitosis and should be treated immediately. There are various treatments for tooth decay including fillings and Root Canal Treatment (RCT).

2. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) reduces the saliva which is a natural mouthwash leading to bad breath. There are many possible causes of Xerostomia and people affected by Xerostomia should get this condition rectified to treat Halitosis. Generally, drinking lots of water and chewing sugar-free gum is helpful.

3.      Quit Smoking and Chewing tobacco as smoking and tobacco products accumulate in the oral cavity emitting foul smell.

4.      Using a mouthwash effectively reduces the bad breath but it may not treat the underlying cause.

5.      Rinse your mouth after every meal and drink as this reduces the amount of food debris and sugars that bacteria thrive on.

6.      Make sure you are not a victim of delusional Halitosis or Halitophobia which simply means you do not have Halitosis yet.

In case, you are concerned after having bad breath when hungry, it’s normal and will go away when you eat something.

 

Treatment for halitophobia involves talking therapies and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to help the person overcome their paranoia and fixation on the smell of their breath