Bad breath (halitosis) seems like a minor problem only at first glance. It can significantly worsen the quality of life of a modern person who is constantly in society, at the epicenter of events. Having discovered that we have bad breath, we feel confused: how can we now communicate with loved ones and colleagues, go on dates, speak in front of an audience?..
“In the vast majority of cases (85%), the source is in the oral cavity, and therefore, first of all, you need to contact the dentist,” says Lana Cherkesova, periodontal surgeon at the Belgravia Dental Studio clinic. She names the following causes of halitosis:
1. Insufficient oral hygiene
Poor or lack of home hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath. Lack of hygiene leads to the accumulation of plaque on teeth, crowns, braces, and dentures. As a result of prolonged presence of bacteria on the surface of teeth, gingivitis and periodontitis develop. Bacteria, found in large quantities in plaque, cause the release of foul-smelling volatile compounds (hydrogen sulfide, etc.).
The higher the severity of periodontitis, the deeper the periodontal pockets and the more aggressive the microflora, the more pronounced the halitosis. Treatment – normalization of personal hygiene, removal of dental plaque. And there will be no halitosis. A periodontist will help here.
- Food. Rotting food debris in the mouth can cause an unpleasant odor. An old crown that does not fit tightly to the tooth, overhanging edges of fillings, carious cavities, periodontal pockets, gingival hoods of wisdom teeth - all these are reservoirs for the accumulation of food debris. Without removing them in time, the patient gets halitosis. Treatment for fillings and crowns is simple - replacing them with high-quality structures from a therapist and orthopedist, respectively. Wisdom teeth must be removed by a surgeon. If the reason is in the pockets, then we return to point 1.
- Language. Due to the peculiarities of the anatomy, the tongue is an ideal place for the accumulation of plaque, food debris, and desquamated epithelial cells. Treatment is daily cleaning of the tongue with a special scraper.
- Dry mouth. With xerostomia, the protective functions of saliva and its mechanical properties for removing “excess” from the oral cavity are reduced. For example, salivation is reduced at night, and in the morning the patient feels an unpleasant odor. The issue will be resolved after carrying out routine hygiene measures.
- After some surgical procedures, an unpleasant taste and odor may occur in the mouth. Important: if such complaints arise, you should contact a surgeon.
But, according to the expert, there are also reasons that have nothing to do with the oral cavity:
- Pathology of ENT organs. Tonsillitis, foreign bodies in the nasal cavity, cleft palate (communication between the mouth and nose), sinusitis. The otolaryngologist also performs diagnostic measures and prescribes conservative and/or surgical intervention.
- Pathology of the gastrointestinal tract. Surprisingly, the stomach almost never causes halitosis - this has been proven by research. Some patients have a pathology in the structure of the esophagus - a protrusion of its mucous membrane, where food can enter and then cause an unpleasant odor. But this pathology is very rare. Halitosis can also occur with severe regurgitation of food (backward movement from the esophagus or stomach).
Help from professionals
It is worth considering that even oral hygiene will not eliminate the problem if it exists. Simply brushing your teeth is not enough. Dentist, candidate of medical sciences, head of the dental network Dental Way Dmitry Timofeev clarifies: “A toothbrush does not clean 30% of plaque, and if there is crowding of the dentition, then even more. The remaining “acidic” environment is a beneficial breeding ground for bacteria, which not only become cause odor, but also cause caries, destroying the enamel. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to carry out professional oral hygiene. If there are carious cavities, pulpitis, inflammation and bleeding of the gums, this is also, in most cases, the cause of the unpleasant odor.
You need to understand that no amount of rinsing with oak tincture, supermint pastes or chewing gum will eliminate the cause. Thus, bleeding and inflammation of the gums are possible due to many reasons, the treatment of which requires an integrated approach - undergoing manipulations in the clinic, taking medications, strengthening the immune system, but caries or pulpitis cannot be eliminated with anything other than treatment. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to make sure of the health of the oral cavity, undergo a comprehensive examination; thanks to the modern diagnostic system, today it is possible to conduct a 100% examination of every tooth, gums and even bone tissue in just 10 minutes and prescribe effective treatment on the day of the appointment.”
Health coach, nutritionist Natalya Markova suggests limiting the consumption of foods with strong tastes and odors that cause halitosis. These are onions, garlic, coffee, alcoholic drinks. The expert notes that some readily available means can help in the fight against bad breath:
"Cleaning your tongue with coconut oil. Rinse your mouth with coconut oil every morning for 10-15 minutes to eliminate bacteria;
Brushing teeth with turmeric. Turmeric has antiseptic properties. Use a mixture of turmeric and toothpaste when brushing your teeth;
Gargling with herbal decoctions. Use herbal teas such as mint or chamomile as a mouth rinse;
Chewing green tea or fresh herbs. Green tea contains beneficial antioxidants. Chewing fresh herbs such as parsley or mint can also help freshen your breath;
Tea tree oil for rinsing. A few drops of tea tree oil in a glass of water is an excellent mouthwash. It has antimicrobial properties; Chewing orange or lemon peel. Grated citrus peels can help freshen your breath. Try chewing after meals;
Eating green vegetables. Green vegetables such as spinach and parsley contain chlorophyll, which can help fight bad breath."
Be more attentive to your health.