One of the most common problems of our mouth is bad breath which is also medically known as halitosis. This problem can be caused by poor dental health habits or a sign of other problems. It may be worse because of the types of foods you eat. It is estimated that approximately 2.4% of the adult suffers from halitosis.
If you have persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth, it could be a sign of gum disease. It is medically called periodontal disease which is result from the accumulation of plaque on teeth. If gum disease is not properly treated, it can make your gums and jawbone damaged. Another possibility is dry mouth or xerostomia, which may be one of effects of several medications, salivary gland problems, or unceasing breathing through the mouth. Some other diseases causing bad breath may include respiratory tract infections (pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.), chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, liver or kidney problems.
Bad breath may also be caused by other dental problems involving poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental cavities.
If you find you have bad breath, try making changes to your dental hygiene. If it does not work, make an appointment with your dentist. Do not try to hide the smell of your breath before visiting your dentist unless you want your doctor have difficulties in identifying the causes.
Your dentist may apply some following regular exams and tests to diagnose the problem:
– Dental exam to detect gum disease or tooth decay
– Physical examination of your mouth and nose to check for abnormalities
– Throat culture to detect bacteria
Some rare cases may need the below tests:
– Blood tests
– X-rays of the abdomen or chest to detect stomach or lung problems.
How to self-identify whether you have bad breath or not?
The most simple way to test to know whether you have bad breath is licking the inside of your wrist with the back of your tongue and waiting for a few seconds until the saliva fries. If your wrist smells unpleasant, it is likely your breath does too.
Some signs of bad breath may include:
– A white coating on the tongue especially at the back of the tongue
– Dry mouth
– Build up around teeth
– Post-nasal drip
– Morning bad breath and a burning tongue
– Thick saliva and a constant need to clear your throat
– Constant sour, bitter metallic taste.