Bad breath refers to the medical condition known as halitosis. This is a condition associated with the foul or bad smell of the air that you breathe out. Unfortunately, it is hard to tell if your breath is bad. It can only be detected by your partner, friends or colleagues when you speak.
There is no doubt that everyone has bad breath, especially in the mornings and after eating such spicy foodstuffs, which cause temporary bad breath. Unfortunately, there are those for whom bad breath is almost a common occurrence. Such people experience embarrassment, especially when made aware that they have foul breath.
How do you tell if your breath is bad? The simplest way to know whether or not your breath is bad is to perform a simple lick test during the day. Lick a section of your arm with the underside of your tongue. Let the saliva dry out before smelling the section to determine the smell of your breath.
What Causes Bad Breath?
The main cause of bad breath is excess bacteria in your mouth. Excess bacteria can be caused by various factors. Note also that excess bacteria can also cause oral infection. Some of the factors that cause bacteria to build up include;
Poor oral hygiene – This is the main cause of excess bacteria in the mouth, leading to bad breath. Poor oral hygiene can also cause oral infection, including gum disease, which further worsens foul breath.
Food and strong drinks – Such strong foodstuffs as garlic and strong drinks as coffee and alcohol can alter the smell of your breath in a big way. However, such is in most cases temporary unless you make it a practice to eat and/drink the same on a regular basis.
Smoking – Smoking is the other major factor that can alter the level of bacteria in your mouth, leading to bad breath. Furthermore, smoking irritates your gums and causes staining of your teeth. All these combine to produce foul breath.
Dieting – You are most likely to develop bad breath when on a dieting program or when fasting. It is also possible to develop foul breath when you restrict yourself to a diet that is low in carbohydrates. Any of these forces your body to use stored fat, which leads to the production of chemical substances that influence the level of bacteria in your mouth, leading to bad breath.
Medications – Certain medications including tranquilizers and the chemotherapy medications influence amount of bacteria in your mouth, leading to foul breath. This can be temporary or permanent, depending on how short or long you are on the medications.
Health conditions – Excessive dry mouth associated with a limited flow of saliva, gastrointestinal disease, diabetes and tonsils among other health conditions also interfere with the environment in your mouth, leading to foul breath.
Halitophobia – You can easily develop foul breath simply because of Halitophobia. This is a psychological condition that makes you paranoid about your breath. You simply misinterpret other’s comments and behavior when you speak to mean that your breath is bad.