What is halitosis?: Causes Home Remedies.Halitosis or bad breath is usually associated with poor oral hygiene, but it can also be a symptom of certain pathologies. Know its possible causes and what are the best remedies to combat it.
What is halitosis?
The halitosis or bad breath is a common disorder that affects nearly half of the population at some point in their lives. The bad odor characteristic of halitosis can be caused by a number of causes, although it is usually associated with the poor hygiene of the oral cavity, which facilitates the accumulation of tartar and therefore the proliferation of bacteria that produce substances that give off an Unpleasant smell. It can also be caused by piercings on the tongue or by very extensive caries.
Some pathologies of the respiratory system, such as lung cancer , sinusitis or bronchitis , as well as those occurring in the digestive tract, such as gastritis , hiatal hernia or the presence of Helicobacter pylori can also cause an unpleasant odor Which must be resolved as soon as possible to avoid affecting the health and social life of the person.
The shortage of saliva, with the consequent dry mouth, is also associated with halitosis. The salivary glands secrete a fluid composed of 99% by water, saliva, that has antiseptic properties and serves to keep the oral cavity clean and lubricated; So, when the amount of saliva is not enough oral hygiene suffers.
It is very unpleasant to have halitosis. For the one who suffers the problem is not so much in the smell (that usually does not perceive), as in the insecurity that causes him. Those affected feel shame and fear of disturbing other people, feel dirty and guilty for their bad breath, and their social relationships are deteriorated. In addition, in the most severe cases, the people in their environment also find the smell unbearable.
Causes of Halitosis
The bad breath or halitosis can be a sign of developing a disease, such as chronic renal failure(in this case the breath smells ammonia), diabetes poorly controlled, sinusitis, an impaired liver function, lung infection Or gastrointestinal problems.
The consumption of tobacco, alcohol or coffee, as well as certain foods like garlic and onion, are also related to the appearance of halitosis or bad breath.
There are also numerous drugs that have as a side effect the reduction of saliva production, and having a dry mouth generates bad breath.
Halitosis can also be caused by a diet low in carbohydrates. The lack of these nutrients, which can be found in foods such as pasta, cereals, potatoes, rice, bread, and legumes, causes the body to use fats to get the energy it needs. By metabolizing fats ketosis or ketoacidosis, which consists of an increase of ketones in the blood and urine. Bad breath, in this case, is the consequence of the elimination of small amounts of acetone, which produce a characteristic smell.
The root of the problem, however, is found in 90% of cases in an excessive proliferation of bacteria in the mouth, which induce the formation of bacterial plaque on the teeth and produce volatile sulfate acids and compounds, which are Those responsible for the bad smell.
When suffering from halitosis, certain situations can further aggravate the problem, such as wearing false teeth, snoring, poor quality fillings and crowns, having cavities, sinusitis, sores or infections in the oral cavity, stress, smoking and, Of course, xerostomia or dry mouth.
Remedies of halitosis
As for the remedy against halitosis, the first thing is to try to detect the origin of our bad breath. As in most cases, it is associated with inadequate oral hygiene, we must first improve hygiene habits, brush our teeth, gums, and tongue after each meal, and also use floss and mouthwash to reach the Areas that are not accessible with the brush. It is also necessary to visit the dentist regularly, at least once a year, to prevent cavities or other dental conditions and to eliminate tartar.
Quitting smoking, not drinking alcohol, and limiting consumption of foods that encourage bad breath, such as garlic and onion, are the main avoidable risk factors.
To relieve dry mouth syndrome, you can follow some tips like:
- Drink water frequently.
- Take juices made with citrus (orange, lemon, mandarin, grapefruit), since citric acid stimulates the secretion of saliva.
- Chewing sugarless gum, which also promotes salivation.
- Avoid very dry or fibrous foods, and increase the consumption of salads.
- Consult your doctor if you take medicines that produce dry mouth to replace them with medicines that do not have this side effect.
Home Remedies for Bad Breath
If halitosis is resistant to the disappearance, some home remedies can help keep the bad smell of breath at bay:
- After each meal, chew a piece of lemon (in the shell) for a few minutes.
- If you do not have the possibility to brush your teeth after the meal, at least rinse your mouth with water, then chew sugarless gum.
- Take mint (sugar-free) candy from time to time.
- Do not stay for long without eating any food; Between meals, you can eat an apple or a carrot.
- Prepare an infusion, boiling for ten minutes a spoonful of peppermint in a cup of water, and take it after eating.
- When brushing your teeth, do not forget that you should also brush your gums and tongue, and replace the brush with assiduity (once every month or a month and a half).
- Boil several sprigs of parsley with two or three whole cloves in two cups of water. Stir the mixture while it is cooling, strain it, and use the liquid to rinse your mouth several times a day.
- Chew a few sticks of celery from time to time; The celery cools the mouth and fights bad breath.
- In addition to the parsley, there are many other herbs whose aromatic properties make them suitable to avoid halitosis, such as mint, eucalyptus, thyme, sage or rosemary. You can make infusions by boiling them for 15 minutes (a small tablespoon each in a cup of water) or chewing directly on some leaves.
- If bad breath is due to digestive problems, you can use cardamom seeds (chew them slowly after a clean mouth meal and eliminate the bad smell of other foods, even if their taste is quite strong) or infusions of digestive herbs such as fennel, the pennyroyal, anise or manzanilla.