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Q.F. Nayibe Cubillos Morales

Gustavo

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Dr. Gustavo Assatourians D.D.S

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Understanding The Symptoms of Halitosis

Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is a problem that affects many people around the world. It is often an uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing concern. Understanding the causes, treatment options, and symptoms of halitosis can help combat the problem effectively. In this article, we will learn about halitosis in-depth, from its symptoms and causes to how to get rid of it permanently. 

symptoms of halitosis


Common Signs and Symptoms of Halitosis

The most apparent symptom of halitosis is persistent bad breath. Often, people with chronic halitosis are not aware of the problem until someone mentions it. Some of the common signs and symptoms of halitosis include:

1. Persistent bad breath: Bad breath that doesn’t go away after brushing your teeth or using mouthwash can be a clear sign of halitosis.

2. Bad taste in the mouth: People with halitosis often experience a persistent, unpleasant taste in their mouth, even after eating or drinking.

3. Dry mouth: A lack of saliva can contribute to halitosis, as saliva helps clean the mouth and remove food particles and bacteria.

4. Dental plaque and tartar: Plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth can be a source of bad odor and contribute to halitosis.

5 . Gum irritation: Gum disease can cause bleeding and irritation, which in turn can contribute to bad breath.

gum iritation


What does it Mean if you Have Bad Breath All the Time?

Chronic halitosis is associated with several conditions, among which gastrointestinal problems such as gastric reflux can be highlighted; oral causes are cavities and periodontitis while respiratory issues such as sinusitis can be the culprit.


How is Halitosis Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of halitosis is made through clinical observation and the patient’s medical history. Additionally, your doctor may order a specialized test to measure levels of hydrogen sulfide, a gas commonly associated with bad breath. Here are some of the tests and devices used to diagnose halitosis:

Halimetre

Gas Chromatography

Test BANA

Test Beta-galactosidase


What are the Types of Bad Breaths?

Halitosis can be classified into several types depending on its underlying causes:

1. Bad morning breath: It is due to decreased saliva production at night. Proper oral hygiene is usually enough to resolve it.

2. Chronic bad breath: It can be caused by oral problems, such as cavities or gum disease, or by underlying medical conditions.

3. Bad breath due to diet: The consumption of some foods such as garlic, onions, or seasonings can alter your breath.

4. Bad breath due to personal habits: Consumption of alcohol or tobacco can cause bad breath.

morning breath


Can Stomach Problems Cause Bad Breath?

Experts associate halitosis with conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or a helicobacter pylori infection. Stomach gas rising in the esophagus can contribute to bad breath.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease may occasionally result in a salty taste in the mouth. This happens when stomach acid regurgitates into the esophagus and mouth, causing a bitter or salty flavor. Effectively addressing GERD through dietary adjustments, lifestyle modifications, and medical interventions can effectively alleviate this discomfort and enhance overall digestive well-being.

stomach ache


How to Eliminate Bad Breath from the Stomach?

If you suspect that your bad breath is coming from the stomach, it is important to see a doctor. Treatment will depend upon the underlying cause, which could include changes in diet, medications to treat gastrointestinal conditions, or antibiotics to treat infections.

How to Cure Bad Breath Permanently?

Some strategies to treat halitosis effectively:

• Treat dental problems: If halitosis is caused by dental problems, such as cavities or gum disease, it is essential to treat them with the help of a dentist.

• Control medical conditions: If an underlying medical condition is causing bad breath, working closely with a doctor is essential to properly address it.

• Change eating habits: Avoiding foods with strong odors like garlic or onions can help reduce bad breath. Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet can improve overall oral health.


Tablets to Stop Bad Breath and Antibiotics for Halitosis

To treat halitosis, tablets, sugar-free gums, and specific mouthwashes can help temporarily freshen your breath. However, it is essential to address the underlying cause to eliminate bad breath permanently. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed by a healthcare professional to treat infections that contribute to halitosis.


How can I prevent Bad Breath?

Some strategies to help maintain a fresh breath:

1. Good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day and floss daily to remove food particles and plaque. If you use dentures, they should be cleaned daily, following your dentist’s instructions.

2. Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups can help detect oral problems that could contribute to bad breath.

3. Adequate hydration: Drinking enough water keeps your mouth moist and helps prevent dry mouth, which can cause bad breath.

4. Avoid certain foods: Some foods, such as garlic and onions, cause bad breath. Limit its consumption if you want to maintain a fresh breath.


Conclusion

Halitosis is a common problem that can be quite embarrassing, but it is treatable. Understanding its symptoms, causes, and treatment options is the first step to effectively combating bad breath. If you have concerns about your breath, do not hesitate to consult a dentist or doctor for appropriate guidance and treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you confirm if you have halitosis?

If you suspect you are dealing with bad breath, there is a simple test you can perform. If the aroma isn’t pleasant, chances are your breath isn’t pleasant either. Another option is to ask a close, trusted friend to give you their honest opinion, but make sure it’s someone you truly trust.

The most common root of halitosis is a lack of proper oral hygiene. Without proper oral care, such as brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings, harmful bacteria build up and grow in the mouth. This can trigger a variety of oral health problems, including bad breath, cavities, and gum conditions.

Halitosis is not transmissible from person to person. Generally, if oral bacteria are the reason for bad breath, they do not spread to others. The only way to pass something on to another person would be to pass on the underlying condition that is causing the bad breath, such as a viral infection.

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is common upon waking up and usually relieved after brushing your teeth. If bad breath continues throughout the day, it could indicate the presence of a dental problem or some other medical condition.

One method to detect the condition is by licking your wrist, letting it dry for a moment, and then smelling it; in this way, you can tell if your breath is unpleasant. Alternatively, you can use dental floss or a tongue scraper to remove a sample from the back of your mouth or tongue, and then smell it. This allows you to determine if your breath has a bad odor.

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References

1. Professional, C. C. M. (Jul 18, 2022). Bad breath (Halitosis). Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/17771-bad-breath-halitosis

2. Bad breath – symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. (Mar 10,2018). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bad-breath/symptoms-causes/syc-20350922

3. Heavier, S. (Aug 14, 2023).Halitosis. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534859/

4. Newman, T. (Jan 10, 2018). Everything you need to know about bad breath. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/166636

5. Dental health and bad breath. (June 2, 2003). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/bad-breath#:~:text=Persistent%20bad%20breath%20or%20a,damage%20the%20gums%20and%20jawbone.

6. Babcock, P. (Feb 25, 2012). Change your breath from bad to good. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/change-your-breath-from-bad-to-good

7. Campisi, G., Musciotto, A., Di Fede, O., Di Marco, V., & Craxì, A. (2010). Halitosis: Could it be more than mere bad breath?Internal and Emergency Medicine, 6(4), 315-319.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11739-010-0492-4

8. Lee, H., Kim, H. M., Kim, N., Oh, J. C., Jo, H. J., Lee, J. T., Chang, H. Y., Chang, N., Ahn, S., & Lee, J. Y. (2014). Association between halitosis diagnosed by a questionnaire and halimeter and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 20(4), 483-490. https://doi.org/10.5056/jnm14052