Halitosis is simply defined as the condition of having foul or offensive breath. Simply put, halitosis is the less common name for bad breath.

This can be a major source of embarrassment, especially when the person is surrounded by plenty of people at work and at school. A lot of people have bad breath. Unfortunately, not everyone who has bad breath knows that they have it or doesn’t acknowledge the fact that they do have it. Also, instead of telling the person that he or she has bad breath, their friends and colleagues simply shy away from talking to them.

Causes of Halitosis

Bad breath can be caused by almost anything that we take in our mouth. These include medicines (like antihistamines, decongestants, anti-anxiety drugs and certain heart ailment medications) and food. Having a dry mouth, which may be a direct result of taking in medicines, causes bad breath in some people. This can also be caused by bacterial infestations in the mouth. Bad breath may be a result of stress too, as well as by sinusitis. Other causes of bad breath may be periodontal in nature, such as diseases like mouth and gum sores, cavities, and gingivitis, and also having dentures and poor dental hygiene.

Prevention Tips

Several measures may be undertaken to prevent having bad breath. Some of these would be frequent brushing of teeth, flossing and seeing your dentist regularly. The brushing process should take more or less about three minutes. When brushing one’s teeth, one should also try brushing the tongue, since the tongue traps large amounts of bacteria. The tongue also catches tiny particles of food, which may become odorous when not removed by brushing. Additional protection against the buildup of bacteria in your mouth can be achieved by rinsing with a mouthwash after you finish brushing. If having a dry mouth causes bad breath, one can chew on gum to stimulate saliva production and release to help prevent dry mouth.

Aside from the abovementioned measures, one can also check his or her dietary habits. Eating breakfast is a must for everyone, because skipping breakfast means that a person can have bad breath until the next time that he or she eats, which may or may not be lunch. Also, one should drink water after eating so that the particles of food may be washed away from the teeth and tongue; the particles of other drinks like wine or soft drinks may be retained in the mouth along with the food particles. Eating oranges and other citrus foods may also contribute to having fresh breath.