Halitosis or bad breath (unpleasant odors in exhaled air) is third commonest cause of a visit to a dentist, next only to cavities or dental carries and gum diseases which are the commonest dental problems for which people visit a dentist. It is such a common health problem that there is a good chance that you might also have halitosis (noticeably unpleasant odor of your breath) and you may not even know it. Your friends also may not inform you about this, because of fear of annoying/angering you. Do not hesitate to ask your close friends or relatives, if you have bad breath or not. Accept frank opinion of your friend, who informs you about your problem and this, may save you from embarrassing situations.
Halitosis can be of two types, temporary and permanent. In temporary type of halitosis the problem may be there for few days and disappear after that only to reappear after sometime. In permanent form, the problem of bad/unpleasant odor of exhaled air is permanently present.
You should not ignore halitosis, because it may be due to systemic disease, diseases of esophagus, diseases of stomach, diseases of lungs, diseases of tonsils and nose etc. although they are less common causes of bad breath. The common causes of halitosis include gum diseases, problems in mouth and tongue. Bacteria present in tongue may produce malodorous compounds and fatty acids and responsible for up to 90 percent of mouth-related bad breath. Most commonly, bacteria grow on the posterior aspect of tongue where they survive and thrive on dead cells, deposited food particles and post nasal drip (nasal secretion drops into this area), and the area is not easy to clean and not generally affected by normal activity of eating. There are dozens of different bacteria that can grow and produce bad smell/odor in mouth.
If you have halitosis, seek attention of your dentist, who will try to find out the cause and treat accordingly. Various methods are used for treating halitosis such as cleaning tongue regularly, gargling with mouthwash, maintenance or good oral hygiene etc.
Sometimes it may be very difficult to find out the cause of bad breath and make treatment extremely difficult. To prevent halitosis from worsening, it is recommended to seek the help of professionals, like dentists from Mt. Pleasant Dental. Many people use symptomatic approach to such cases such as use of mints, mouth sprays, mouthwash etc. which can not cure the problem but can mask the bad odor temporarily.