Do I have Halitosis? – Part I
If you are not able to ask someone close about your breath, try the following test:
- Lick your wrist with your tongue and wait 30 seconds, then smell.
Having fresh breath is very important for one to feel confident.
Halitosis, meaning bad breath is derived from the Latin “halitus”(exhaled air) and “òsis” (change), is an embarrassing problem in which an unpleasant odor exudes from the oral cavity. Halitosis may be the cause of social isolation and exclusion. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people (thus 25% of the world’s population) have regularly bad breath creating problems in interpersonal relationships and may have detrimental consequences for one’s self-esteem.
You may wonder how does this occur?
Halitosis is caused by bacteria that live and proliferate in the mouth, feed on food particles and cells that peel from the tongue (or lingual epithelium?) producing volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) that cause bad breath.
The odor from the mouth becomes more pronounced in the late morning and afternoon due to the long period of time without eating solids and liquids. This facilitates the proliferation of bacteria that live in the oral cavity that produces VCSs which are responsible for the foul odor.
So how do we treat this?
Treatment will depend on the source of the problem. We know that about 90 to 95 percent of halitosis is oral and 5 to 10 percent are due to systemic causes. Being systemic, the patient should be referred to a general practitioner doctor or specialist. If the source is oral, the causes of halitosis are identified: periodontal disease, tartar build-up, plaque, dental cavities, etc.
Schedule an appointment with our Dentist so an individual assessment is performed to identify possible causes of bad breath. If your problem is mainly plaque and tartar build-up, you will be referred to see our one of our hygienists where she will remove all hard and soft deposits causing bad breath by scaling, root straightening, use of bicarbonate jet and polishing the dental surfaces.
Oral hygiene techniques are tailored to each patient’s individual needs and taught so that they may effectively eliminate all food residues that accumulate near the teeth and gums.
Instead of disguising bad breath, let’s find the best way to solve it together!