By FARIDAT MUSA
Halitosis is the medical name for mouth odour or bad breath. It is an unpleasant smell that emanates from exhaled breath. It is sometime not perceive by the person suffering from it but can be a great source of discomfort to others. It is also termed fetor oris.
It is caused by an interplay of many factors. Bad breath ranges from mild to chronic type. Over 80% of mouth odour are owing to absence of proper oral hygiene. When you do not take care of your mouth as religiously as you eat, tooth and gum diseases are likely to develop. Bacteria that act on the foods we eat, especially the sugary ones, produce an acid that erodes the teeth and further into the gum causing tooth decay, gingivitis and a host of other tooth diseases. In turn, gingivitis, tooth and gum diseases can lead to bad breath. Other factors are responsible for chronic mouth odour. A change of diet to more keto-based food could also elicit halitosis.
The mild type is usually less offensive than the chronic type. It can suppressed, then eliminated by carefully observing good oral practices such as brushing your teeth and tongue twice daily – with fluoride toothpaste, flossing in between, and use of mouth spray and mints.
On the otherside, chronic mouth odour is the type can not be faced out by brushing regularly. Most times, they are as a result of underlying health conditions. These conditions include; sinus infection, kidney disease, diabetes, ketoacidosis, liver disease, amongst others. To eliminate chronic mouth odour, it is imperative to first solve the cause and to do this, you have to visit a doctor.
Xerophathalmia or dryness of the mouth is another source of mouth odour. The mouth has to be hydrated always to prevent bad breath. This explains why someone fasting would have a slight, temporary mouth odour. This can be corrected by drinking water as frequently as possible and treating the condition that reduces saliva production. In addition, toxic lifestyle habits such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol should be avoided to maintain fresh breath.
People suffering from halitosis find it hard to seek support and treatment because of low self- esteem they feel. They shy away from large gatherings and places where they must interact with others. This absence and delayed presentation for treatment feeds time to mouth odour to intensify. It takes an ugly toll on their overall mental health so as much as possible, try to be more understanding towards them. Waiting does not solve the problem, finding a solution does. Summon strength and visit a doctor today.
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