Straight, No Chaser (Unless the Chaser is Mouthwash): Halitosis

bad_breath

Let’s talk about bad breath (halitosis).  Putting the silliness of someone’s breath odor (or in some cases, oh dear) aside for a second, the overwhelming majority causes of bad breath are relatively simple things and have easy fixes (specifically flossing and brushing, including the tongue), but it could be a sign of a significant medical issue.  I would hope the next time you stumble across someone with bad breath, you’d care enough to speak up.  You could identify a life threatening disease, such as liver failure or diabetes!  For example…

Simple medical issues: have a sore throat or bad teeth (pharyngitis, laryngitis, a dental infection/abscess)?  How about reflux?  You’ll have halitosis.

You don’t brush and floss?  You don’t clean those dentures as much as you should?  You’ll get gingivitis, gum decay and an abscess = halitosis (bad breath).  How’s your diet?  You like onions, garlic, curry, cauliflower or coffee?  You smoke or chew tobacco?  You drink way too much?  You probably have halitosis.  Yes, you!

The most important thing is to get to the root of the cause.  Take the example of the dental abscess.  This infection is found at the bottom of a tooth usually with someone already having gingivitis (inflammation of your gums) and cavities (and yep, is probably a cigarette smoker).  It can be treated with penicillin or other antibiotics, but continuing to smoke without getting the cavity closed will continue to cause repeat infections.

At the root of the funk are certain types of mouth-based bacteria not needing oxygen to thrive.  These bugs produce odors as part of their metabolizing the ‘goodies’ they’re chewing on in your mouth, and much in the way a cow produces methane gas when it farts…  That’s why brushing and flossing are so important.  It’s a constant battle to beat back these organisms that live in your mouth.

Sooo… enjoy your day, and remember to take a Tic Tac and a smile.  Have a nice weekend!

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4 Comments

Filed under Dental, Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Health Prevention

4 responses to “Straight, No Chaser (Unless the Chaser is Mouthwash): Halitosis

  1. Very informative! Although I do not believe I am guilty of this offense, how do you suggest I open/begin/initiate this “delicate” conversation?

    • Lol. Perhaps it’s not best for a guy with the monikor ‘Straight, No Chaser’ to tell you how to proceed on matters this delicate, but I’d certainly recommend that your find some path to get that information across based on the personality of who needs the information! The mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. If it’s not healthy, you’re not healthy. Try this: Remind your loved ones to floss after each meal and brush your tongue before you go to bed, two things that aren’t commonly done that address the issue of the bacteria in question. Perhaps if you go that route, you can avoid the frontal assault!

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