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How is it produced and how to combat bad breath?
Halitosis or better known as bad breath, represents one of the most frequent visits to the dentist or general practitioner.
Undoubtedly, the unpleasant odor coming from a person's breath not only implies a social problem, but also an economic one for those who suffer from this disease. Therefore, it is appropriate to ask: how does it occur and how can it be combated?
How does halitosis occur?
In the oral cavity there are millions of bacteria which are part of a natural microbiota, that is, they are there to protect against future infections.
This population of microorganisms is characterized by being in balance between anaerobic bacteria (they do not require oxygen) and facultative anaerobes (they need oxygen, but they manufacture it).
When an imbalance occurs and the anaerobic bacteria are in greater quantity than the facultative bacteria, they produce a large amount of CVS (Volatile Sulfide Compounds). To do this, it boasts two different mechanisms:
The first is food debris in the oral cavity.
The second is the low production of saliva.
When food remains on the back of the tongue or gums, bacteria break down the food, allowing bad breath to appear. For its part, xerostomia or low saliva production prevents good lubrication and oxygenation in the mouth, causing excess CVS.
“I brush well, but I still have bad breath”
Although halitosis has always been labeled as a disease of the oral cavity due to poor hygiene, it is important to know that this is not always the case.
Well, there are many pathologies of a systemic nature that can cause a change in the pH of the area, causing an unpleasant odor for other people.
Sometimes, those who suffer from bad breath are not aware of it, being the environment that makes them know about their condition.
Curiously, many doctors and even dentists are unaware of the subject and how to approach it, since it is still a field without much research.
It is essential to mention that, at some point in life, you will suffer from bad breath, especially after 60 years of age. Some research has even established the predominance of this milestone in the male gender.
Although bad breath is mostly due to improper brushing, there are other factors to consider if you suffer from halitosis. Among them, saliva, since its decrease in the oral cavity alters the pH. And, in women, menstruation greatly affects.
Other diseases that cause bad breath
Pigeonholing this disease only in the mouth is wrong, there are respiratory, digestive and even neurological conditions that are capable of causing halitosis.
Respiratory pathologies include bronchitis, lung abscess, tuberculosis, empyema, etc.
At the digestive level there is gastritis, dyspepsia, gastric ulcers, diverticulitis or esophagitis.
Other diseases that are very rare, but that cause bad breath, are brain tumors that produce olfactory hallucinations. At the same time, it causes a psychiatric disorder in the patient.
According to Miyazaki University, halitosis is classified into true, physiological, pathological halitosis, oral causes, extra-oral causes, and halitosis of psychiatric origin.
In short, knowing exactly the causal agent of bad breath is not such an easy task for the medical or dental staff at the front.
Ways to eliminate or reduce bad breath
The main thing before applying any treatment is to know its origin, having to carry out certain studies that will indicate a more accurate diagnosis. Halitosis itself symbolizes a socioeconomic problem with treatment considered quite expensive.
Carrying out a good dental brushing 2 times a day plus dental floss, accompanied by a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, is a good idea. It will also be key to avoid foods such as garlic, onions or excess red meat. As well as alcoholic beverages and tobacco smoking.
For xerostomia, the treatment is to drink plenty of water, avoid coffee, and eat foods that stimulate saliva production, such as sugar-free candies.
Chewing gum for saliva production is only recommended once a day for a few minutes.
Otherwise, its excessive use could damage the teeth and injure the temporomandibular joint.
The use of mouthwashes before going to sleep is recommended to prevent food remains from remaining throughout the night.
In another aspect, if the presence of a bacterium at the respiratory or gastrointestinal level modifies the therapeutic. With the appropriate addition of antibiotics, the pathogen will be eradicated and with it halitosis.
And, if despite taking all possible measures and the symptoms still persist, it is best to go to a specialist for a physical evaluation.