Bad breath is a very common occurrence among us. The reason for this are various diseases of the digestive system.
Bad breath is also a problem in communicating with other people. Modern medicine calls such a state, when from the mouth of a person it smells of an extremely unpleasant odor - halitosis. In Latin - Halitoz.
In fact, halitosis can not be called an independent disease, but rather a sign of the pathological processes occurring in the body. In the absence of proper oral care, a bad odor increases, bringing discomfort not only to the patient, but also to those around him.
In this article, we will look at why there is an unpleasant smell from the mouth in adults, what are the main causes of this symptoms, and how to get rid of it at home.
How to check if you smell out of your mouth?
Many people who have an unpleasant repulsive breath are not even aware of the problem. Well, if a close person or friend points to her. But it is not always possible, relatives are afraid to offend a loved one, and colleagues prefer to reduce communication with him to a minimum. And the problem remains.
There are several ways to test yourself:
- Wrist test It is enough to lick the wrist and allow the saliva to dry. The smell that you feel in a few seconds is the smell of the front of your tongue. As a rule, it is much weaker than what it actually is, because the front of the tongue is cleaned by our saliva, which contains antibacterial components, while the back of the tongue, in turn, is the very breeding ground for unpleasant odors.
- You can try to breathe in your palm and instantly sniff what you exhale. Or try to stick out the lower lip, slightly pushing the jaw forward, and the upper one roll inwards and make a sharp exhale with your mouth, then smell what you breathed out.
- Test with a spoon. Take a teaspoon, turn it over and swipe several times on the surface of the tongue. On the spoon will be some white bloom or saliva. The smell coming from them is the smell of your breath.
Additional signs include the formation of plaque on the tongue, inflammation of the mucous membrane, a feeling of unpleasant taste in the mouth. These symptoms do not directly indicate halitosis and may vary, depending on the cause of the disease and the presence of complicating factors.
Causes of Bad Breath
Causes of halitosis can vary significantly, but before you look for them, you need to make sure that this smell really exists. Modern doctors distinguish several types of halitosis:
- True halitosis, in which unpleasant breathing is objectively noticed by people around. The causes of its occurrence may be associated with physiological features, insufficient oral hygiene, metabolic processes in the body, or symptoms of certain diseases.
- Pseudo-halitosis is a barely perceptible, unpleasant breath that can be felt by close contact with a person. Usually, in such a situation, the patient exaggerates the problem and it is solved quite simply by enhancing oral hygiene.
- Halitophobia - the conviction of a person in the smell from his mouth, however, this is not confirmed by either the dentist or the people around him.
Also according to statistics:
- 80% of the causes of bad breath are associated with problems in the oral cavity.
- 10% with ENT diseases.
- only 5-10% with serious diseases of internal organs and systems - the liver, kidneys, organs of the gastrointestinal tract, organs of the respiratory system, hormonal disruptions, metabolic disorders, autoimmune and oncological diseases.
The most important thing to understand is that the main cause of the unpleasant smell emanating from a person’s mouth is the vital activity of anaerobic bacteria (that is, bacteria that grow and multiply without oxygen). Their waste products - volatile sulfur compounds are those same smelly gases that smell very unpleasantly and lead to the smell from the mouth of a person.
Why does bad breath occur?
But the reasons that lead to the reproduction of these bacteria, a lot. We will analyze them in detail:
- Poor oral hygiene. Most often, putrid breath is associated with poor oral hygiene, for example, when a person does not use dental floss to clean the interdental spaces from food debris. Surely many of you felt the stench from the mouth of your colleagues, who had a bite at work, but did not brush their teeth.
- Gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis). The cause of these ailments is poor oral hygiene, mild microbial plaque and hard tartar. When the amount of toxins secreted by microorganisms of plaque and stone exceeds the capacity of local immunity of the oral cavity, inflammation develops in the gums.
- Caries. Carious defects of teeth are filled with a huge amount of pathogenic microflora and there are always remains of food in them. This food and tooth tissues quickly begin to rot and as a result - you smell bad from the mouth. If you want to eliminate the smell from the mouth - first of all you need to cure bad teeth.
- The development of tartar - dental plaque, which seeps with salts of minerals (calcium salt) with its hardening and the development of chronic infection in it. More often, tartar is the result of pathology of the gums (gum pockets), which loosely cover the necks of the teeth and the spaces between their lateral edges.
- Diseases of the digestive system (gastritis, ulcers). In this case, this problem is caused by the pathology of non-closure of the esophageal sphincter, when odors from the stomach penetrate directly through the esophagus into the oral cavity.
- Chronic tonsillitis. Those who suffer from chronic inflammation of the tonsils - the same smells bad from the mouth. If you have a weak immune system or there is a lot of infection in the oral cavity, in this case, periodic inflammation of the tonsils can develop into a sluggish chronic form of inflammation. People who suffer from this form of inflammation of the tonsils often complain of a terrible smell from the mouth.
- Stomatitis is an inflammatory disease that is accompanied by the formation of ulcers on the oral mucosa. Sores and thick white patches are a source of halitosis.
- Glossitis is an inflammatory process in the lining of the tongue that can occur together with gingivitis or stomatitis.
- Intestinal pathology (enteritis and colitis). As a result of inflammatory processes in the intestine, toxic substances enter the bloodstream, which the body removes, including through the lungs, as a result of which there is an unpleasant odor from the mouth.
- Another common cause of halitosis is dry mouth: saliva does not moisturize or cleanse the mouth, washing out plaque and dead cells. Thus, the cells located on the gums, the inner surface of the cheeks and the tongue, decompose, causing halitosis. Dry mouth can be caused by alcohol, certain medications, pathologies of the salivary glands, and so on.
- Medications: Many medications, including antihistamines and diuretics, can cause dry mouth, which can cause bad breath. Such smell and treatment are often interrelated - a number of drugs can lead to a bad smell (insulin, triamteren, paraldehyde, and many others).
- Quite often, some foods cause bad breath. Of course, onions and garlic are considered to be champions here. However, after a noisy feast with a large amount of meat and fatty foods, there may also be an unpleasant odor from the mouth. True, he passes pretty soon.
- Tobacco products: smoking and chewing tobacco leave behind chemicals that linger in the mouth. Smoking can also accelerate other causes of bad breath, such as gum disease or oral cancer.
Whatever the various causes of bad breath, bacteria are the source of all the problems. They are always in our mouth, creating a certain microflora there. Any living organism, and bacteria are not an exception, feeding, produces waste products, which are volatile sulfur compounds. It is these fetid sulfurous volatile compounds that we feel from the mouth.
Experts believe that one of the most obvious reasons for its appearance is white matter, accumulating on the back of the tongue. It occurs when a person brushes teeth incorrectly, ignoring the tongue.
How to treat bad breath
In the case of bad breath, treatment is a separate topic for conversation, but what can be done to ensure that it does not appear, it is important to know even to those who do not suffer from this problem. After all, bad breath, if it appears, you will not disguise it later with mint candy.
As noted above, food particles left over from food are breeding grounds for bacteria. That is why a lot depends on oral hygiene. It is recommended to take care that after a meal in the mouth there are no pieces of food that, among other things, contribute to the formation of plaque and stone. This requires:
- brush your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush three times a day to remove food particles left in the mouth and stuck in your teeth;
- clean the interdental spaces with dental floss;
- daily clean the back of the tongue with a soft bristle brush;
- to stimulate salivation regularly eat fresh fruits and vegetables, adhere to the diet;
- To eliminate dry mouth (dry mouth), rinse your mouth with warm water;
- regularly visit the dentist.
At home, rinsing with vegetable oil helps to get rid of bad breath. To do this, put a small portion of oil in your mouth and hold it there for 10-15 minutes. Oil has a good property to dissolve all rotting products. Then spit and rinse your mouth thoroughly. You can not swallow this oil! When properly performed, the oil should become cloudy.
The ability to remove the unpleasant smell has infusions of herbs such as peppermint, a string, cumin, wormwood. To clean the pockets in the gums, it is good to use rinsing after eating 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide, diluted with water 1: 1. Peroxide cleans even the deepest pockets and eliminates the problem.
In addition, there are a large number of modern means of quickly getting rid of bad breath: aerosol air fresheners, chewing gums, lozenges, etc. They are distinguished by both fast efficacy and low stability due to short duration of action.
Which doctor to contact
If you get a stale smell from the mouth, you need to go to the dentist, undergo professional teeth cleaning, cure dental diseases, gums, get rid of tartar.
If there is no effect, you need to consult a gastroenterologist, and in more rare cases - an ENT doctor (for sinus or chronic rhinitis), a pulmonologist (for bronchiectasis), an endocrinologist (for diabetes mellitus).