What is Halitosis

What is Halitosis?
Bad breath happens often. If you have had bad breath on a date, at a job interview or just being with friends, you are not alone. Studies have shown that 50 percent of adults have had bad breath, or halitosis, at some time in their lives.
Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. Everyone can get bad breath from time to time, especially after eating garlic, onions, or other foods of this nature. But bad breath that will not go away, chronic halitosis, could mean you have an oral health issue or a condition that is more serious.
Halitosis is a symptom of a variety of different conditions. It is like a warning message from your body. Finding the source or root cause of your halitosis is the first step in treating the issue.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are a variety of reasons you might have bad breath. Many causes are harmless, but bad breath can sometimes be a sign of something more serious.
* Bacteria- Bad breath can happen anytime from the hundreds of types of bad breath-causing bacteria that naturally live in your mouth every day. Your mouth also naturally allows these bacteria to grow. When you eat, bacteria actually feed on the food left in your mouth and then leave a foul-smelling waste product behind.
* Dry Mouth- Your mouth may not be making enough saliva. Saliva is essential because it works around the clock to wash your mouth. If you do not have enough saliva, your mouth is not being cleaned as much as it should be. Dry mouth can be the result of certain medications, salivary gland problems or by breathing through your mouth.
* Gum Disease- Bad breath that just will not go away or a consistent bad taste in your mouth might be a warning sign of gum disease, which is usually caused by a sticky, bacteria called plaque.
* Food- Garlic, onions, coffee, etc. The list of breath-offending foods can be long, and what you eat affects your breath.
* Smoking and Tobacco- Smoking not only stains your teeth, gives you bad breath but also puts you at risk for a number of health problems. Tobacco will reduce your ability to taste foods and also irritates gum tissues. Tobacco users are often likely to suffer from gum disease. Smoking affects your sense of smell, so smokers may not be aware of their halitosis.
* Medical Conditions- Mouth infections can cause your bad breath. If your dentist has ruled out other causes and you do brush and floss every day, your bad breath might be the result of a medical problem, such as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver, or kidney disease. If this is the case, see dentist or doctor.
Treating Halitosis
Successful halitosis treatment will depend on the root cause of the issue. If bad breath is due to your poor oral hygiene, a professional dental cleaning and improved oral hygiene practices at home will help.
But if your halitosis is a symptom of another condition somewhere in your body, your family doctor can help you with a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Your dentist might recommend special mouth rinses to combat certain bacteria in your mouth.