Bad breath, called halitosis in medicine, is a common and disturbing oral problem. While halitosis is most often linked to something happening in your mouth, it may also be a sign of gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. Although halitosis is usually a temporary problem, there are cases where it is permanent.

Physiologically, bad breath is considered normal in the morning. If you are hungry for a long time, bad breath is normal in this case too. Because in these cases the saliva flow in the mouth decreases, the activity of bacteria increases and bad breath occur. In this case, treatment is not necessary, because this type of bad breath can not be prevented.

Bacteria in the mouth, especially in the tongue, are one of the factors that cause bad breath. Potential causes of bad breath include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Intraoral infection
  • Nose, throat and sinus issues
  • Dry mouth caused by medications, certain medical conditions
  • Diseases such as liver failure, diabetes, lung infection
  • Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (especially reflux)
  • Onion, garlic or tobacco products

Diagnosis and Treatment

A dentist can simply smell the breath of a person with suspected halitosis. Your relatives may have warned you about it. If the bad breath does not have a temporary cause due to food, starvation or morning wake, it must be treated. If there is gum infection, tooth decay, or other infection in the mouth, bad breath can be prevented by treating these problem. You should also tell your dentist about the drugs you use and your chronic diseases. This will make the diagnosis easier. You may need to consult with your family doctor and begin the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, as the bad breath can be a symptom of respiratory infections or systemic diseases.

Halitosis prevention

The most important reason for bad breath is oral bacteria in your mouth. That’s why the proper oral care is very beneficial to prevent odour. Brush your teeth and use dental floss twice a day. Remember to brush your tongue, too, to remove bacteria from its surface. With regular dental visits, the diagnosis and treatment of intra-oral problems is also very important.

There are some foods and beverages a person can consume to eliminate or at least temporarily mask bad breath:

  • Chewing sugarless gum
  • Drinking water
  • Mint
  • Apple
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Cinnamon

If you have bad breath despite all the precautions you take and proper oral hygiene, you should consult your dentist.