What is halitosis and how to treat it?


Last Updated on June 1, 2023 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS

What is halitosis and how to treat it?

Halitosis, or bad breath, is an unpleasant condition that can make you feel uncomfortable around other people because everyone likes to have fresh, healthy breath.Bad breath, known as halitosis, is an unfortunate condition that affects more than 50 million people in the US. Halitosis affects your confidence, lifestyle, and personal relationships. There are several reasons why bad breath develops so treatment for bad breath varies depending on the cause. Many people have suffered from bad breath at some point because of something as simple as eating certain foods, but bad breath could be a sign of an oral or internal condition that requires more attention.


Types of halitosis or bad breath 

halitosis and how to treat it

  • Genuine or transient halitosis. It is transient and usually occurs in the morning. It occurs when we do not produce enough saliva during the night, therefore, the amount of bacteria in the mouth multiplies. It can also occur when we ingest strong-tasting foods. Remember that saliva is necessary for bacteria control. The good news is that this type of halitosis can be solved with good oral hygiene. Density
  • Pathological halitosis. This type of halitosis needs specific treatments and can occur in patients with periodontal disease, diabetes, or kidney disease, for example. That is to say, it comes from an established or long-standing cause that may be directly related to some condition in the mouth or also to some condition in another part of our body.


Why do we have halitosis or bad breath? 

Before knowing how to eliminate halitosis or bad breath, it is important to know its causes to fight it properly. Our specialists at Channel Island Family Dental explain that the causes of bad breath can originate from conditions in different parts of the body and not only in the mouth.Although there are currently more than 80 causes that can cause bad breath, and it is important to know them.

At Channel Island Family Dental we will introduce you to the most frequent causes:

  • In the mouth: The presence of cavities, inflammation of the gums and bleeding, deteriorated, very old or metallic restorations, canker sores or abscesses as a result of infected teeth, tongue full of plaque or bacterial plaque can result in bad breath or halitosis.
  • In the respiratory system: it can be caused by tonsillitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, etc.
  • In the stomach: diseases such as gastritis, reflux, vomiting (in patients with bulimia, for example); diabetes, where the smell of rotten apples or hepatitis is very common, can also cause bad breath or halitosis.
  • Bad habits: smoking or the use of some medications. For example, some anticonvulsants cause less salivation and the mouth dries out, causing bad breath.
  • Psychological and neurological factors: such as stress and anxiety.


How does halitosis affect our daily life?

Halitosis or bad breath is one of the conditions with the greatest impact on social relationships, according to the American Dental Association and this can have a great psychological impact. This psychological impact will be more related to visible behavioral manifestations, such as covering the mouth when speaking, keeping a greater interpersonal distance than normal, or avoiding social relationships.

This leads to a great emotional charge, which can result in acceptance or rejection; the perception of unpleasant breath generally causes an immediate increase in negative emotions, such as irritability, discomfort, nervousness, and agitation.


Signs of halitosis or bad breath

Unfortunately, many times bad breath will be detected by someone else before you realize it. At Channel Island Family Dental, here are a few things you can do to recognize halitosis early on

  • An unpleasant or sour taste in your mouth is a sign of bad breath.
  • If you see a white surface on your tongue, it can be an indicator of bad breath.
  • You can test yourself by licking your wrist and waiting for the saliva to dry to detect the odor.


How to treat bad breath?

woman brushing teeth

  • Maintain your daily dental care routine. One of the most serious problems that cause halitosis is excess bacteria lingering in the mouth, between the teeth, or on the tongue from poor oral hygiene. The first step in treating bad breath is to take control of your dental health by brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes and then flossing between your teeth. Using mouthwash is a good defense to attack bacteria in the mouth after brushing and some help maintain fresh breath longer. It is also important to brush the tongue to remove excess bacteria.
  • Try natural remedies. Buying mints and rinses to freshen your breath quickly is easy. Another way to combat bad breath is through internal treatment. Herbs such as cloves, mint, sage, etc. can help relieve bad breath. Drinking tea is also a natural remedy to fight bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath. Taking vitamins or prebiotics can also cure the internal causes of bad breath for people who suffer from a deficiency.
  • Hydrate. Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of bad breath. If your mouth feels dry for a long time, you have a high chance of developing halitosis. Drinking water is a great way to increase saliva production, which naturally rinses the mouth throughout the day and night.
  • Treat underlying medical conditions. Bad breath can indicate that you have some problems with your oral health and also diseases in other parts of your body that manifest in your mouth. These include gastrointestinal problems, sleep apnea, stomach cancer, kidney problems, respiratory infections, diabetes, and acid reflux. People with chronic sinusitis often suffer from bad breath. If your bad breath is not cured simply by hygienic methods, it may be time to visit your doctor for tests.

Other habits you can follow to keep your breath fresh are:

  • Not eating foods with strong odors such as spices, garlic, onions, and beverages such as coffee and alcohol that cause breath to smell temporary.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking or chewing tobacco makes your breath smell bad and can stain your teeth. Quit for fresher breath and whiter teeth.

Also, talk to our denstist in  Oxnard, Santa Paula, Newburry Park ,Ventura, and Port Hueneme about your bad breath, they can do an oral exam to investigate the root cause of your chronic bad breath. Once our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, and Port Hueneme have diagnosed your bad breath, together they can begin treatment to the causal factors in the condition.


Contact Us: What Is Halitosis And How To Treat It

Remember, not all bad breath is treated with just mints and gum, use these tips to take control of your bad breath. It is critical to remember that to help you and provide you with a better experience you can visit Channel Island Family Dental.If you have any questions about this or other topics you can contact us at Channel Island Family Dental, as well as on our Facebook page. At Channel Island Family Dental we will be attentive to your visit to achieve an early diagnosis.

Likewise, our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Newbury Park, Ventura, and Port Hueneme will be ready to guide you and offer you the best treatment to give you back your best smile and better breath.halitosis and how to treat it halitosis and how to treat it halitosis and how to treat it halitosis and how to treat it halitosis and how to treat ihalitosis and how to treat it halitosis and how to treat it halitosis and how to treat it halitosis and how to treat it

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