Bad breath or halitosis is common and considered as normal if we have it in the morning after waking up. Bad breath appears when we sleep for couple of hours as meanwhile our oral structure is on mute and no saliva flows. However, if bad breath occurs frequently, it is not anymore normal. Yet, scientific studies have shown that approximately 30% of the world population are suffering from bad breath.

Symptoms

Halitosis produces a white or light yellow layer on our tongue, a sense of a burning tongue, a dry mouth, thick saliva, a bad breath (which is even worst after consuming alcohol, tobacco, coffee, lactose or sugar containing products), and an acid, rotten or metallic taste.

Causes

In many cases halitosis is mistakenly diagnosed, and wrongly accredited to problems with the stomach. In fact, in 90% of the time bad breath appears because of oral conditions.  One of the main motives is the nourishment and its digestion: After the consumption of food, leftovers can stay in the mouth which reproduce bacteria and build a bad taste. Moreover, specific products as onions, garlic, coffee, products containing lactose, specific spices, and spicy food, alcohol, as well as tobacco are being absorbed in the blood flow which then passes the smell to the lunges, establishing bad breath until it is being completely eliminated by the organism.

Furthermore, as there are over 600 different bacteria in the mouth, the majority comes from the dental plaque which is under the gum. Also diets with low carbohydrates can provoke the production of ketone bodies which cause halitosis. Another reason is a poor oral hygiene and a wrong use of dental products which build bacteria over time. Tooth brushes need to be regularly changed. In addition, oral dryness or xerostomia which is seen as an illness can also cause halitosis. In effect, saliva is necessary to hydrate and clean the mouth in order to neutralise acid products with the dental plaque, and eliminating dead cells which are on the tongue, gum and cheek. If they are not being removed, bad breath occurs.

Systemic diseases can also provoke halitosis due to the illness or the medication taken, in the case of diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastritis, infections of respiratory tract, sinusitis, liver and kidney problems, and lung cancer.

Diagnosis

It is very important to know that bad breath can appear due to a health issue. This is why, it is necessary to consult a dentist in the case of halitosis in order to create a diagnosis and treatment planning. If the halitosis does not have an oral origin, the dentist should consequently advice to the patient to visit a specialised doctor.

Prevention

Brushing thoroughly your teeth (and at least twice a day) help you to have a fresh breath, as well as to maintain your oral health. Furthermore, it is recommended to use interdental brushes, floss and to conduct mouthwashes and rinses after the teethbrushing. In addition, you should brush and clean our tongue with a tongue or toothbrush are advantageous to remove bacteria on the tongue.

Moreover, the dental plaque in the cavity should be professionally removed during a dental hygiene which should be repeated every six months. Drinking water or using a chewing gum can also aid to damp your mouth and increase the production of saliva. Besides, in this way you can also prevent the emergence of caries.

In Tafur Dental Clinic we have a team of dentists who treat bad breath. Visit our dental clinic in Gibraltar if you note to suffer from halitosis or a dry or bad breath, and to consult a dentist about your problem.