What Is the Medical Term for Bad Breath?

Julia | 05 - 02 - 2020
What Is the Medical Term for Bad Breath?

Halitosis is the medical term used to signify bad breath. There are many reasons for the unpleasant odor in the mouth.  Most of us know that the intake of a certain food can cause bad odor like onion, garlic, fish, etc. But at times it may just be a symptom for underlying disease conditions. If you think you have a severe bad breath issue you should consult your physician immediately to find out the real cause for bad odor in the mouth.

What Are the Common Causes of Bad Breath?

Bacteria in the Mouth

Our mouth has around 700 species of bacteria and there are 6 billion bacteria found to live in our mouth alone.  Several of them feed on the sugar and starches that are left in our mouth. They eliminate acids and produce volatile compounds that have an unpleasant odor, including hydrogen sulphide, methyl mercaptan and dimethyl sulphide which becomes the prominent reason for Halitosis.

It is important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent Halitosis due to bacterial activity.  Brushing your teeth two times a day is optimum. But if you feel you have a bad odor you can brush your teeth 30 minutes after taking food. Many people brush only the teeth but it is important to gently brush your gums, oral cavity and remove the plaque from the tongue.  This will eliminate most of the odor issues. 

1. How to Find out Whether You Have Bad Breath?
  • A. Speak to your friend
  • B. Blow in your cupped hand
  • C. Lick on your wrist and smell
  • D. Ask your family

Stomach Bacteria

Helicobacter Pylori which causes stomach ulcers and gastric cancers live in the stomach.  But a recent study has revealed that it has adapted to survive in the ph of our mouth. This bacterium can cause various gum diseases, inflammation, and bad breath.

Stomach Infections

Food poisoning and infections caused by various microorganisms and the presence of parasites such as worms can cause bad odor in the mouth. Check for other symptoms along with bad breath such as elevated temperature, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, itching, loose stool, etc.  Consult a medical practitioner to treat the underlying cause for your bad breath.

Why Does “Fasting” Cause Bad Breath?

Saliva in our mouth does not only act as a lubricant to chew our food. It also helps to breakdown the food and most importantly protect our mouth and control bacterial activity. During fasting, the salivary production becomes less and it is the main reason for bad odor. 

Other Causes

Stress, hormonal imbalance, diabetes, etc. 

How to Prevent Bad Breath?

Brush two times a day

Use a mouthwash

Floss your teeth once a day

Eat healthy food

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