Bad breath complaints are reported in 3 out of 4 people in the world. Only with regular tooth brushing, bad breath is reduced by 1/3.
We examine the causes of bad breath (halitosis) under the following 6 main headings..
1 – Oral causes
Among these, oral hygiene disorder takes the first place. Microorganisms on the teeth and tongue and protein residues in the mouth cause bad odor if they are not cleaned. Microbes settled in dental plaques are generally microbes that can reproduce in an airless environment. Gingivitis, food residues, the layer on the tongue formed in heavy smokers and those who do not care about oral hygiene can be the source of bad odor. Other causes in the mouth and throat cavity are tonsil and adenoid infections. Tonsil stones can also cause bad odor. Decreased salivary secretion in the mouth may also be a cause that increases halitosis. With dental calculus and plaque cleaning, a 1/5 decrease in bad breath is observed.
2 – For reasons related to nose and sinus diseases
The leading cause in this group is sinusitis and nasal inflammation. When sinusitis is not treated, it becomes chronic and becomes the source of inflammatory, foul-smelling discharge towards the nasal cavity.
3 – Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the esophagus and stomach;
Gastric reflux (leakage) disease, some inflammatory stomach diseases, pockets in the esophagus can cause halitosis due to accumulated food content and inflammation.
4 – Causes originating from the lungs
5 – Other causes such as hunger, diet, fasting, liver and kidney failures also cause bad breath.
6 – Bad breath is seen depending on the diet (garlic, onion, some fish and cheese varieties, etc.).
Before starting treatment, the cause must be understood. ENT specialist, dentist and gastroenterology departments should make their evaluations. If there is tooth decay and gum disease, it should be treated. Oral hygiene should be given importance. The upper part of the tongue should be brushed gently with a toothbrush several days a week. If there is reflux, medication and behavioral treatments are necessary. Antibiotics and mouthwashes should be used if there is an infection. Some mouthwashes (such as those containing chlorhexidine gluconate, cetylpyridinium chloride, benzetonium chloride, zinc ions) may also be effective.