One of the most common problems in the western world is bad breath.
The problem is so common, that about 90 million people suffer from it worldwide. The medical name for it is ‘halitosis’.
About 80% of adults are sure they have bad breath, some even test it by breathing into their palm every few
minutes, probably before an important meeting or a first date (with or without a planned kiss…). The fact is that most of these people do not have the problem even if they think they do; but when someone does suffer from bad breath, it can be caused by the following main reasons:
1. Inadequate teeth restorations (fillings and crowns), caries, gingivitis.
2. A number of illnesses such as diabetes can cause a certain type of breath, for example: unbalanced diabetes, a situation called ketoacidosis may cause a sweetish smell slightly resembling the smell of acetone.
3. The smell may stem from food remains behind the tonsils – A typical accumulation of bacteria in healthy people is usually found on the back part of the tongue, an area where saliva is less likely to reach. This area also receives less attention when cleaning the mouth and teeth, and this is the main cause of bad breath. For those who neglect their dental hygiene, the source of bad breath may be plaque, gingivitis, dirty false-teeth, an abscess or even a poor dental treatment, where gaps are left that can accumulate bacteria.
4. The smell can arise from a fungal infection on the tongue and/or the digestive system.
5. There is a hypothesis that it is due to genetics, but this has never been proven unequivocally. It is usually a reaction to bacterial activity in the mouth and a side effect of proteins breaking down in the oral cavity. A steady flow of saliva eliminates the bacteria and their byproducts, so breathing through the mouth, fasting, and the prolonged intake of various drugs (blood pressure medications, for example), which are all known factors for dry mouth, are also responsible for making bad breath worse.
6. Poor oral hygiene, which causes the formation of bacteria that produces sulfur compounds, will cause bad breath and a rotten smell to the breath.
7. Leftover food rotting between the teeth will cause a typical smell of rotting bacteria (pseudomonas).
Smoking also influences bad breath, and although smoke limits the bacteria activity, smoking worsens bad breath, both because it causes dry mouth and worsens gum (periodontal) problems.
What are the risks?
The problem of bad breath is mainly aesthetic in nature, but it is not limited to that – treating bad breath also improves the health of the gums. Since we now know that there is a correlation between gum diseases and other illnesses, mainly heart diseases, it is very important to treat bad breath as well.
How is bad breath diagnosed?
There are two relatively simple methods to diagnose the problem: One is to lick the back of the palm and smell the remaining saliva, the other is to smell the dental floss that was moved across various areas of the mouth. In both cases – if there is a problem, there will be a strong odor coming from the mouth cavity.
The skilled dentist’s job is to study the type of smell coming from the mouth and suggest the appropriate treatment.
There are a number of treatments to address the exact cause of the bad breath.
The MediClinic medical clinic is highly advanced and uses the most innovative equipment to solve the wide variety of dental problems, including bad breath. All of the clinic’s doctors are skilled to diagnose and treat the problem.
The treatment is provided under the guidance of Dr. Mark Levin