Halitosis (bad breath) is a condition everyone experiences from time to time on a temporary basis. It is estimated 25 percent of the population suffers from persistent halitosis. An estimated 90% of cases are associated with volatile sulfurous compounds (VSCs), the byproducts of the anaerobic bacteria present in everyone's mouth. Chronic halitosis can have several other causes, including:
- Consumption of certain foods (e.g., garlic, onions, pungent spices)
- Poor oral hygiene
- Postnasal drip
- Polyps on the tonsils
- Tonsil stones (tonsilloliths)
- Ill-fitting or improperly cleaned dentures
- Gum disease
- Other underlying diseases
Chronic halitosis occurs on a frequent habitual basis and is often resistant to efforts to defeat it. As many bad breath sufferers already know, chronic halitosis is an uncomfortable and embarrassing problem. It affects the person with the issue, as well as people around them. Other people are usually reluctant to mention the presence of halitosis to a friend or co-worker, instead offering chewing gum or breath mints as a subtle hint.
Bad Breath Detection Tips
- Look at your tongue and if you frequently have a white or yellow coating, especially on the posterior part (back) of the tongue, this can indicate the presence of bad breath-causing bacteria.
- Lick your wrist and wait five seconds for it to dry. Smelling the odor on your wrist provides a sense of what your breath smells like to others.
- To confirm the presence of bad breath, have a trusted friend or family member smell your breath and nose to determine the source of the odor.
Chronic Halitosis Prevention
Dietary Changes: One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent persistent halitosis is to avoid things known to cause it. A change in diet can be beneficial, which means steering clear of foods with onions, garlic, or strong spices. Eating foods high in fiber is good for oral, digestive, and overall health.
Beverages: A dehydrated body is more prone to halitosis. Drinking coffee, tea or other caffeine-laden drinks alters the body's pH balance due to its high acidity, and also acts as a diuretic, depleting the body of needed hydration. Although sports drinks are intended to rehydrate the body, they typically contain high amounts of sugar, encouraging bacteria to flourish. Drinking adequate water throughout the day can help.
Lifestyle changes: Alcohol consumption should be moderated, because it is a common cause of dry mouth and halitosis. Tobacco smokers, who are certainly aware of the health hazards attributed to this habit, can add halitosis to the list of reasons to quit.
Improved Daily Oral Hygiene Routine: Regular brushing, flossing, and gargling can alleviate halitosis when done properly, however, quickly brushing twice a day is inadequate. Many people spend less than a minute when brushing, which is not enough time to clean all tooth surfaces, cheeks, gums, and the tongue. Brushing the teeth, tongue, and gums immediately after eating dairy foods, fish, and meat can help reduce heavy smells associated with their consumption. Flossing is critical to removing food particles from between the teeth, thereby depriving bacteria in the mouth from this source of protein. One of the most important tasks for alleviating chronic halitosis is cleaning the back of the tongue, where bacteria generally thrive with little disruption.
Chronic Halitosis Treatment
The first step in alleviating the problem is isolating the exact cause. Visit a dentist or doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. If the dentist or periodontist uses a Halimeter, this will determine the exact amount of excess VSCs in the mouth.
Although regular, diligent oral hygiene care is likely the most important defense against chronic halitosis, most over-the-counter toothpastes, mouthwashes, and breath mints only provide temporary relief for this condition. It is important to treat the source of chronic halitosis with the right products.
When purchasing products to treat chronic halitosis, it is crucial to select a high quality product guaranteed to be effective. TheraBreath® offers a wide variety of effective products with a 100% money-back guarantee for the treatment of chronic halitosis. Click here to view our full selection of products.