What is Bad Breath?
Bad breath is one of the most embarrassing things that make people lose their confidence too. Bad breath is known as halitosis in medical terminology. Halitosis/bad breath is a condition where bad or unpleasant odor emanates from the oral cavity. There are varied causes for halitosis and these causes change from person to person. Many-a-times this bad breath is an alarming sign of some systemic disorders and also oral health.
General Causes of Bad Breath
Most of the times, people have impression that bad breath is caused by the food they take in. Though this is true to some extent, it is not the sole reason for bad breath. Xerostomia i.e. dry mouth, where there is decreased secretion of saliva due to reasons like diminished activity of salivary glands, radiation therapy to oral cancers etc, can be another cause for halitosis. Certain foods like garlic, onions emanate a foul odor when taken in diet. Problems related to periodontium i.e. the gums are other major causes of halitosis.
Improper brushing leads to accumulation of plaque and calculus that host bacteria which are responsible to bad breath. When food is stuck to teeth and is not washed properly, it breathes foul. Tooth decay, habits like smoking, chewing tobacco, etc can also be the reasons of bad breath. Dentures too play a major role in bad breath. Ill-fitting dentures, dentures that are not washed properly also result in halitosis. Certain other infections like moniliasis/thrush and other fungal infections are also responsible for this.
It is not an astonishing fact that bad breath is related to systemic disorders. Yes, it’s true. Certain systemic ailments such as renal disorders, chronic respiratory tract infections that include sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, liver disorders, diabetes etc manifest bad breath as a symptom too.
Causes of Bad Breath in Adults. The most common causes for bad breath in adults include improper diet and inappropriate oral hygiene practices. Diet such as cheese, garlic, refined diet, junk food etc has a tendency to stick to teeth and oral cavity. Improper brushing or flossing can result in food remnants in the mouth resulting in bacterial accumulation thus bad breath too. Periodontal problems such as gum disorders, tooth decay, ill-fitting dentures etc can also be causes for halitosis. In adults who have the habit of smoking or alcohol consumption can also show signs of halitosis.
Causes of Bad Breath in Children & Kids. Improper maintenance of oral hygiene is one of the major causes of bad breath in kids. Hence it is always recommended that kids should brush under the supervision of parents. Parents must teach the children how to brush the teeth, flossing and tongue cleaning procedures. Dry mouth can also be another reason for bad breath in kids. Systemic disorders such as tonsillitis, nasal drip, etc can cause bad breath in children. In tonsillitis condition food gets stuck in the tissue folds, which gets putrefied causing bad breath.
Causes of Bad Breath in Dogs and Cats. The most common cause for bad breath in dogs and cats are periodontal and dental related problems. Majority of times bad breathe in dogs and cats results due to some systemic disorders. Dogs suffer from dental caries very often and this can be a reason for bad breath. Tumors in mouth or drooling of saliva or exfoliation of teeth in young doggies result in halitosis. Whatever might be the reason regular oral checkup for dogs is very essential to keep a check on systemic diseases too.
Causes of bad breath from throat, stomach, tonsils and liver. Bad breath is sometimes a manifestation of certain disorders in various organs too. In tonsillar conditions, there are certain folds/ crevices around the tonsil, where there is every chance for accumulation. These food remnants get putrefied and cause bad breath. A similar condition in stomach too! Belching is a common cause of bad breath and severe gag refluxes or vomiting can also result in bad breath. Fetor Hepaticus is a chronic liver disorder condition and Fetor Oris is an oral disorder where halitosis can be a major sign.
Causes of Chronic Bad Breath
Chronic bad breath is also known as persistent bad breath. Majority of people suffer from this kind of halitosis. It is not just the poor oral hygiene that causes bad breath but the causes are far beyond that. Systemic disorders and continuous use of medications are the most common causes of chronic bad breath. Anaerobic bacteria underneath the mucosa of oral