Halitosis or bad breath is a mouth condition, where the patient complains of unpleasant smell from the oral cavity. It may be related to both systemic and oral conditions. About 85 % of cases belong to oral conditions like poor oral hygiene, certain foods, dentures, dry mouth, tobacco products, and medical conditions.
An unpleasant smell from the mouth or bad breath is called halitosis, which is caused by eating certain food, dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, alcohol or tobacco use, or by some chronic medical conditions.
What Are the Risk Factors and Causes for Halitosis?
1. Food like garlic, spicy foods, cheese, fish, and acidic beverages (coffee) can cause a lingering smell. Some foods may get stuck in the tooth and cause the growth of bacteria and dental plaque, which results in bad breath. Another important cause is a low carbohydrate diet causes the body to burn fat to produce energy (ketones), which causes fruity acetone like smell when exhaled. Diabetes mellitus can also cause halitosis.
2. Smoking and chewing tobacco release chemicals that are retained in the mouth.
3. Poor oral hygiene is when a person does not brush or floss his teeth regularly. Bad breath is caused by dental plaque hardening and becoming tartar, which is home for bacteria. This also results in inflammation of the gums called gingivitis.
4. Health conditions like sinus infections, pneumonia, sore throat, common cold, flu, tonsilitis, post-nasal drip, thrush, bronchitis, acid reflux, lactose intolerance, indigestion, liver diseases, etc., are associated with bad breath.
5. Dry mouth or xerostomia can result in bad breath as saliva helps keep bad odor away as it flushes out bacteria. Some anti-allergic medicines may cause dry mouth.
6. Post-nasal drip is the most common sign of allergy, which can also cause halitosis.
7. Dental problems like cavities, gum diseases, or impacted teeth may cause halitosis.
8. Due to ill-fitted dentures, food particles may get collected. Dental braces also cause food to stick, which results in the growth of bacteria and bad breath.
9. Bad breath in the morning is because saliva production stops during sleep.
10. Halitosis may be caused by any foreign body lodged in the nasal cavities of children.
11. Some cancers and metabolic disorders can also cause bad breath.
What Are the Symptoms of Halitosis?
How Can Bad Breath Be Prevented?
What Are the Homeopathic Medicines for Bad Breath?
1. Mercurius Solubilis: Used for a moist mouth with bad smell. In such cases, saliva has a highly offensive odor, and the salivary glands are hyperactive and produce profuse saliva (water brush). The smell of the mouth spreads all over the room, and the thirst for water increases. This medicine helps in the treatment of dental conditions like tooth decay and gum infections with spongy, bleeding, and discharging gums. It can also be used for ulcers in the mouth and for a sweet metallic taste along with bad breath.
2. Pulsatilla: It is used when the tongue is covered with thick mucus, dry tongue without thirst, and salty or bitter taste in the mouth.
3. Kreosote: Halitosis due to decayed teeth, bleeding gums, bitter taste in the mouth.
4. Hepar Sulphuris: Halitosis due to gingivitis and pyorrhea (pus discharging from the gums with bad breath). This medicine helps in the removal of root cause and the absorption of pus. Here Carbo Vegitabilis helps in the removal of pus discharge with blood. If pus, blood, and salivation are present, then Mercurius Solubilis is indicated.
5. Carbolic Acid: In cases of bad breath associated with bloated abdomen due to constipation, this medicine is used. Abdominal pain with constipation, loss of appetite, nausea, and bad breath.
Consult a qualified homeopathic physician to know other available treatment options.
Last reviewed at:
22 Jun 2019 - 3 min read
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