Bad breath (halitosis)
Bad breath is a common problem that everyone has experienced. If it is present on an ongoing basis, then this is reflected in the quality of life. A person experiences a feeling of awkwardness when communicating with other people, his self-confidence decreases, self-esteem falls.
It may also happen that the person himself simply does not notice the unpleasant smell. Either close people or a doctor point to him. Doctors refer to halitosis as halitosis. It has been established that in 80% of cases it is caused by certain disorders in the oral cavity. In 10% of cases, an unpleasant odor appears due to a disease of the respiratory system. In 5-10% of cases, halitosis is a consequence of diseases of internal organs, for example, stomach, liver, kidneys. Sometimes the problem is associated with autoimmune processes in the body and even with oncology.
Bad breath can appear only in the morning or after eating. In some cases, it is present on an ongoing basis, regardless of whether a person ate or not. People describe their feelings differently. Some of them indicate that the smell is fetid, rotten, sour, others compare it with the smell coming from missing eggs. There can be many options.
If a person suspects that his breath has become stale, simple diagnostic measures can be carried out:
- You should attach a napkin to the back of your tongue and then sniff it.
- You can smell a toothpick or dental floss a minute after using it.
- You can lick a spoon or your wrist, and then evaluate their smell.
Dentists are able to detect bad breath using special machines. There is also a pocket-sized device called a halimeter. It measures the level of hydrogen sulfide in exhaled air and rates it on a scale of 0 to 4.
- Diseases that lead to bad breath
- Other causes of bad breath
- Halitosis types
- How to get rid of bad breath?
Diseases that lead to bad breath
With kidney damage, with inflammation of the bladder, nephrosis, pyelonephritis and kidney failure, the mouth will smell like ammonia.
- Stomatitis, caries, periodontitis can lead to an unpleasant odor.
- Bad breath occurs in people with Sjogren's syndrome. Other signs of the disease are: dry mouth, eye pain, photophobia.
- If the smell is sour, then this may be a sign of gastric or intestinal ulcer, gastritis, etc.
- Otolaryngological pathologies can provoke the appearance of bad breath. These include: sinusitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, polyps in the nose, tonsillitis.
- The defeat of the digestive system: cholecystitis, inflammation of the pancreas, intestinal dysbiosis, etc.
A rotten smell from the mouth occurs when a person has impaired liver function. The decay products enter the systemic circulation, after which they reach the lungs with the blood flow and are excreted together with carbon dioxide.
In addition to a rotten smell from the mouth, the patient will experience yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, urine may become dark in color, and feces may become light.
In some cases, the use of certain medications that affect the functioning of the liver leads to a rotten smell from the mouth.
If the oral cavity and ENT organs in a person are healthy, then a putrid odor from the mouth may indicate a diverticulum or a tumor of the esophagus. Particles of food are retained in it, which begins to rot. This is what causes the unpleasant odor. At night, such patients often regurgitate the remains of undigested food. To identify pathology, it is necessary to visit a gastroenterologist and undergo a diagnosis using barium.
Sometimes putrid breath indicates severe damage to the respiratory system. It occurs with tuberculosis, purulent bronchitis, pneumonia or lung abscess. Such pathologies require treatment by a pulmonologist.
Sweet or acetone odor
If from the mouth comes a smell that resembles the aroma of ripe apples, or a pungent smell of acetone, then this may indicate developing diabetes mellitus. The reason is an increase in the level of ketone bodies in the blood, which enter the lungs and are released during breathing along with carbon dioxide.
Other causes of bad breath
Sometimes it happens that bad breath occurs from time to time.
In this case, the reasons may be as follows:
- In women, before the onset of menstruation, hormonal changes occur. This can make the breath stale.
- Taking medications for a long time can cause bad breath. They lead to the fact that saliva begins to be produced less, and this makes the breath stale. Medicines that provoke the appearance of bad breath: allergy medications, sedatives and hormones, antidepressants, diuretics, antibiotics.
- Stress, emotional shock, prolonged nervous tension negatively affects the state of the body. Therefore, bad breath can be a consequence of nervous system instability.
- Eating garlic, onions, cabbage, spirits, coffee, chicory, and soda can cause bad breath. Smoking also prevents you from making your breath pleasant.
Bad odor due to problems in the mouth
In children, bad breath can appear due to problems with the teeth or gums, since they are diagnosed with diseases of the digestive system much less often than in adults. If the dentist does not find any problems with the oral cavity, then it is recommended to consult an otolaryngologist.
Dental plan problems can be as follows:
- Diseases of the tongue.
- Tartar deposits.
- Wisdom tooth eruption. At the same time, a pocket appears in the gum, into which food enters. It starts to rot and give off an unpleasant odor.
- Diseases of the salivary glands.
- Poor oral hygiene.
- Wearing dentures, crowns, plates, braces and other structures.
If bad breath worsens after sleep, then most often it is due to poor oral hygiene. Dentists strongly recommend brushing your teeth before bed and in the morning. Otherwise, the bacteria will feed on food residues that have lingered on the teeth, after which they will begin to actively release hydrogen sulfide. Therefore, breathing in the morning becomes very unpleasant.
At night, saliva is produced less, it is not enough for normal teeth cleaning. If it is not possible to brush your teeth before going to bed, then you need to at least thoroughly rinse your mouth. This will help keep your morning breath fresh.
There are the following types of bad breath:
Pseudohalytosis. The person overestimates the smell from the mouth too much. The breath in this case may be stale, but not so much that it indicates a problem. Others may not feel an unpleasant smell at all, while the patient himself clearly feels it.
True halitosis. In this case, the person himself and the people around him feel an unpleasant smell. Sometimes such a violation develops due to the peculiarities of the metabolic processes of a particular organism. Although the disease should not be ruled out either.
Halitophobia. At the same time, the patient himself is firmly convinced that his breath smells unpleasant. However, as such, there is no smell. Neither the people around the person, nor the doctor feel it.
How to get rid of bad breath?
If bad breath has already appeared, then you can take the following measures to eliminate it:
- Products such as dill, fennel, cumin or anise seeds, coffee beans, juniper (berries), cardamom, and ginger help to cope with an unpleasant odor.
- To eliminate bad breath, you can drink a glass of milk. However, you won't be able to get rid of the garlic smell completely quickly. It is secreted not only from the stomach, but also through the pores of the skin. Therefore, you will have to wait for a certain time period.
Tea tree oil neutralizes unpleasant odor and relieves inflammation in the mouth. It is enough to rinse the mouth with it. For the same purpose, you can use black tea, which is harmful to the bacterial flora.
- When the stomach becomes the cause of halitosis, after consulting a doctor, you can try taking propolis. This substance has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral effects.
Water to combat bad breath
The breath loses its freshness if the oral cavity dries up. Saliva does not wash away food particles; bacteria actively absorb it and release hydrogen sulfide. Plain water helps to get rid of bad breath. Therefore, you need to drink often and a lot. Naturally, you need to consume plain water, which does not contain gas. In addition, soda has a negative effect on the condition of the tooth enamel, destroying it. Apples, celery, carrots help to cope with stale breath. They work like a brush, removing food particles from the interdental spaces.
For a while, chewing gums and menthol lozenges help to eliminate bad breath. They stimulate the formation of saliva and prevent food debris from lingering on the teeth, which means that bacteria will not multiply at an accelerated rate. According to Cassiano Kuchenbecker Rosing, professor at the University of Rio Grande do Sol, "The saliva produced by chewing is responsible for eliminating bad breath."
New York-based cosmetic dentist Jennifer Jablow advises her patients to chew mint leaves or parsley. Helps to cope with bad breath, which is part of their chlorophyll. This substance gives all plants a green color. It naturally neutralizes unpleasant odors by reducing the activity of bacteria in the mouth. If it is not possible to consume green vegetables, herbs and fruits, then you can take chlorophyll in tablet form.
Dentist Debra Glassman of Glassman Dental Care advises patients to use homemade mouthwash. To prepare it, you will need a glass of warm water, a tablespoon of baking soda and 4 drops of peppermint oil.
Video: How to Get Rid of Mouth Odor? What is the reason for this? How to solve this problem?
Rinses for fresh breath
To cope with an unpleasant smell, not for a short time, but forever, you need to clarify the cause of its occurrence. Otherwise, any measures will be short-lived. The doctor will help determine the therapy. Treatment depends on which organ is affected.
Means to freshen your breath:
Septogal. It contains benzalkonium chloride (an antiseptic that destroys microbes, viruses and fungi), menthol (has an antiseptic and cooling effect), thymol (fights bacteria and fungi). Septogal contains peppermint and eucalyptus oils, which stimulate saliva, give it a pleasant taste, freshen breath and slightly disinfect mucous membranes. The drug is available in the form of absorbable tablets, which are taken 1 piece every 2-3 hours.
Asepta. A whole line of oral care products is produced under this name. These include balms, toothpastes, gels, and mouthwashes. Their use allows you to cope with unpleasant odors and heal gums and teeth. These products contain mint, menthol and methylparaben.
Listerine. It is a mouthwash that has an antibacterial effect. Its use allows you to destroy microbes that release hydrogen sulfide, making your breath stale. Listerin also contains essential oils that prolong the effect of its use. If a person uses this mouthwash every day, then he will not need aids for fresh breath. Listerin contains thymol, menthol, methyl salicylate, eucalyptol. Do not dilute the rinse aid before using it. It takes about 20 ml of the product for 1 time. It is collected in a cap from the drug, after which they rinse their mouth for about 30 seconds.
Lakalut. Lakalut toothpaste helps to cope with bad breath. It destroys pathogenic flora and some viruses. It contains olive oil, which prevents the mouth from drying out.
If the choice was on mouth rinses, then you should not use them for too long. They lead to the destruction of not only pathogenic, but also its own microflora, which normally lives on the oral mucosa.
Bad breath is a reason for going to the dentist. Improper hygiene can cause food particles to get stuck between the teeth. They are ideal food for bacteria. In this case, you can forget about the freshness of breath.
The effective drugs most often prescribed by doctors are:
You can use these medicines only with the permission of a doctor. The dosage is determined by the doctor. Taking them on your own can cause serious health problems.
To keep your breath fresh, you need to follow these guidelines:
- Caring for the oral cavity should not only be thorough, but also regular.
- Once every six months, you need to visit the dentist and undergo treatment, if necessary.
- Stop smoking. It is not recommended to abuse alcohol and coffee.
- To reduce the likelihood of bad breath, use a tongue scraper. This device allows you to cleanse pathogenic flora and products of its vital activity from it. Studies show that up to 60% of bacteria are concentrated on the back of the tongue, so it also needs to be cleaned.
- Bad breath is provoked by foods such as: onions, garlic, spicy dishes. The body digests them for at least 2 hours, during this time an unpleasant odor will come from the stomach. You can reduce it by using fruits or vegetables.
- Electric toothbrushes clean your teeth better than conventional hygiene products. They contribute to the fact that tartar will not be deposited, which means that the breath will be fresh.
- You can rinse your mouth with a solution of sea salt or rock salt. Do not use iodized salt, as this can lead to an excess of iodine in the body.
- Eat natural yoghurt. In this case, you need to choose a product that does not contain sugar. The bacteria contained in this fermented milk product help to reduce the level of hydrogen sulfide in the mouth. Therefore, the unpleasant smell disappears. It was experimentally found that people who ate natural yogurt every day for several weeks, the plaque on the teeth was significantly reduced.
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".