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Treatment of Halitosis

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What is halitosis

The halitosis (also known as bad breath) is a problem that has always tormented humanity. Halitosis is the release of odorous molecules (bad smelling gases) from the oral cavity, but also the upper respiratory tract and metabolism.

Halitosis is not a disease, and occurs as a sign or symptom that something is unbalanced in the body. However, bad breath can denounce the occurrence of any disease or health problem.

Bad breath can have several causes – oral, systemic, as well as by a physiological change or bad habits.

It is a very common problem, and about 40% of world population suffers or will suffer from halitosis at some point of their life. It is estimated that 30% of brasilian population suffers from chronic halitosis, but on waking up or after a long period without food, it is normal to have bad breath.

Halitosis is not normally noticed by people with the disorder, because the brain suffers from olfactory fatigue. Then, a second opinion can be very important to detect the presence of bad breath.

The main causes of bad breath (halitosis)

The causes of bad breath (or halitosis) are numerous: there are over 50 different causes, but there are some that are more frequent.

Bad breath can be caused for oral or extra-oral factors. According to recent studies, the causes of halitosis are mostly originated in the mouth (oral origin), in 90 to 95% of cases. The extra-oral causes of halitosis represent 5 to 10% of cases.

Considering the oral factors (surgical wounds, cavities, periodontal disease, etc.), the most common cause of bad breath is deficient oral hygiene, which can cause dental plaque and tongue coating. Other causes for oral bad breath is prolonged fasting and eating odorous foods such as garlic and onions.

The most common extra-oral causes of bad breath are the diseases of the oropharynx, digestive disorders, liver and kidney, broncho-pulmonary diseases, diabetes, constipation and stress.

The stomach problems (gastritis, ulcers, among others) are not the main cause of bad breath. Only 1% of bad breath cases are produced by these factors.

Therefore, all possible causes of bad breath should be investigated, and treatment of halitosis should be directed according to the identified cause. It is up to professional dentist to evaluate the origins of halitosis, and in each patient, indicate the most appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis and treatment of Halitosis

The diagnosis and treatment of halitosis can be done by the patient's clinical history and the characteristic odor.

Now, there are methods that assist in effective diagnosis and treatment of halitosis, as sialometry (which measures the flow of saliva), and halimetria (made with a machine that measures the amount of sulfur in the mouth).

Halitosis is curable and, although it may take some time, you can perform the treatment of halitosis by a professional. The treatment of halitosis is accomplished in excellent clinical focused on this problem.

In the treatment of halitosis, it is also important to pay attention to changes in behavior of those who suffer from bad breath. Halitosis can create insecurity and low self-esteem, and the treatment of halitosis positively influences the social and affective life of individuals.

The treatment of halitosis is different of routine dental care, requiring specialized dental professionals. However, the conservation of the results depends on the patient to follows the instructions in the treatment of halitosis.

Tips to avoid bad breath

- Have a balanced diet, rich in fiber

- Have a good oral hygiene, flossing and brushing your teeth and tongue after each meal

- Avoid prolonged periods of fasting

- Avoid alcohol, tobacco, coffee

- Eat well at breakfast

- Make constant ingestion of liquids to prevent dehydration and dryness of the mouth

- Visit your dentist regularly for inspection and cleaning the teeth

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