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Most adults will suffer from some degree of bad breath at some time in their lives.
Bad breath is a common problem that can be due to many causes.
Problem: Odor after fasting, dieting, prolonged speaking, exercise, sleeping or taking medications.
Possible Cause: Dryness in the mouth caused by insufficient saliva flow.
Problem: Gums that bleed and bad breath.
Possible Cause: Gum disease caused by poor cleaning between teeth.
Problem: Odor when talking.
Possible Cause: Postnasal drip onto back of tongue.
Problem: Small whitish stones with foul odor appearing on tongue.
Possible Cause: Tonsilloliths from crypts in tonsils.
Problem: Odor appears suddenly from mouth of young child.
Possible Cause: Onset of throat infection.
Problem: Odor in denture wearers.
Possible Cause: Dentures kept in mouth all night or not cleaned properly.
Problem: Odor from nose.
Possible Cause: Sinusitis, polyps, dryness, foreign body, hindered air or mucous flow.
Problem: Bad taste all day long.
Possible Cause: Poor oral hygiene, gum disease, excessive bacteria on tongue surface.
Can bad breath be treated?
The key to effective treatment and management of this condition is proper diagnosis. Recent research has enabled dentists to understand the causes of bad breath and therefore treat it more effectively. The main problem is accepting that one has bad breath as most individuals cannot smell their own breath. Asking friends or seeking other's opinion is usually the best way. If flossing, brushing and tongue combing do not resolve the problem, then you will need to investigate further.
The DOs and DON'Ts of bad breath
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Allergy: Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.
Anaerobic: Of, relating to, or being activity in which the body incurs an oxygen debt (for example weight training or resistive exercises) and does not immediately burn off a lot of calories and fat.
Antiseptic: Inhibiting growth of infectious organisms.
Bacteria: Microscopic germs. Some bacteria are "harmful" and can cause disease, while other "friendly" bacteria protect the body from harmful invading organisms.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
Diuretic: An agent increasing urine flow, causing the kidneys to excrete more than the usual amount of sodium, potassium and water.
Gastric Reflux Disease: Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). A common relapsing condition affecting approximately 10% of the U.S. population and caused by an abnormal exposure of the lower esophagus to refluxed gastric contents, causing irritation and injury to the esophageal tissues. GERD develops as a result of relaxations of the transient lower esophageal sphincter. Typical presenting symptoms are heartburn, an epigastric burning sensation and acid regurgitation. However, some patients may present with atypical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.
Polyp: A usually nonmalignant growth or tumor protruding from the mucous lining of an organ such as the nose, bladder or intestine, often causing obstruction.
Protein: Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.
Stomach: A hollow, muscular, J-shaped pouch located in the upper part of the abdomen to the left of the midline. The upper end (fundus) is large and dome-shaped; the area just below the fundus is called the body of the stomach. The fundus and the body are often referred to as the cardiac portion of the stomach. The lower (pyloric) portion curves downward and to the right and includes the antrum and the pylorus. The function of the stomach is to begin digestion by physically breaking down food received from the esophagus. The tissues of the stomach wall are composed of three types of muscle fibers: circular, longitudinal and oblique. These fibers create structural elasticity and contractibility, both of which are needed for digestion. The stomach mucosa contains cells which secrete hydrochloric acid and this in turn activates the other gastric enzymes pepsin and rennin. To protect itself from being destroyed by its own enzymes, the stomach’s mucous lining must constantly regenerate itself.