Breath Blues

Health & Nutrition - - JUST LAUNCHED - Dr Ma­hesh Lal­wani, Den­tal Sur­geon

Ihave bad breath, even though I don’t smoke and I care­fully brush my teeth and floss. Could the odour stem from some prob­lem in­side my body? Ka­malesh Nayak, Ra­jkot

Bad breath or hal­i­to­sis is the un­pleas­ant smell that is emit­ted from your mouth due to var­i­ous causes. The most com­mon is due to food trapped be­tween your teeth, on the tongue and around the gums which can rot leav­ing a bad smell. Food like gar­lic and onions can con­trib­ute to a fetid odour. Peo­ple on a low car­bo­hy­drate diet can also de­velop bad breath due to ex­cre­tion of ke­tones, one of the meta­bolic byprod­ucts of di­ges­tion. Xeros­tomis or dry mouth caused due to the lack of ad­e­quate saliva due to var­i­ous med­i­ca­tions or sali­vary gland prob­lems may give rise to foul breath. To­bacco or smok­ing is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to bad breath. Sys­temic med­i­cal prob­lems like in­fec­tions in the res­pi­ra­tory tract, chronic si­nusi­tis, post­nasal drip, chronic bron­chi­tis, di­a­betes, gas­troin­testi­nal dis­tur­bance, and liver or kid­ney ail­ment can cause breath odour. Keep the mouth moist by drink­ing water and chew­ing sug­ar­less gum or sugar-free hard sweets to stim­u­late the pro­duc­tion of saliva. Mouth­wash may tem­po­rar­ily mask bad breath odours, but it may not treat the un­der­ly­ing cause. Nat­u­ral reme­dies to treat bad breath in­clude chew­ing on mint or pars­ley. If bad breath is due to a health prob­lem, then the un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal is­sue needs to be treated.

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