What is Bad Breath and How does it Develop?
Bad breath (halitosis) is a condition that leads to social and psychological problems. Globally, 2 billion people suffer from Bad Breath.
Transient bad breath occurs due to the food consumed (onion-garlic), and usually dissipates within 24–72 hours. Persistent (chronic) bad breath, however, does not abate after a certain period, and requires professional care, training and treatment.
Bad breath is caused by the sulfur gases that are produced as a result of the degradation of food debris by anaerobic bacteria that live in an oxygen-free environment in the mouth.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath has Intraoral and Extraoral origins; although bad breath mostly develops in the oral cavity (intraoral).
The leading causes of oral cavity-related bad breath include tooth decay, gingival disease, tongue coating, dry mouth and dental pathologies.
Bad breath can also result from extraoral sources. These include ENT (ear, nose and throat) problems, lung disease, kidney and liver disease, diabetes, hormonal causes and medications.
What is the Treatment for Bad Breath?
Treatment involves the identification of the factors causing the bad breath, and the planning of an appropriate treatment. If the cause is gingivitis and associated bleeding, gingival treatment is administered; and if the cause is tooth decay, then the decay is treated.
In general, bad breath can be considerably reduced by toothbrushing, the use of interdental cleaning tools and tongue scraping. Treatment is supported with chemical agents in some cases.