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Houston Dentist : Dental  Article Houston Dentist Article
About Us < Dental Services < Current Health News
  Dr Minh Nguyen
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Halitosis, also called bad breath, is as an offensive odor that emanates from the oral cavity.  Also known as foetor oris, oral malodour, or simply bad breath, halitosis is a serious problem.  As a chronic problem, it affects people's lives, their businesses, and their social activities.  In rare cases, bad breath can be a sign of a serious general health problem, so it should not be ignored. 

One unfortunate facet of bad breath is that you can rarely smell it yourself.  Sometimes, a person's bad breath can blow you away and he or she may not realize there's a problem.  Over 65 percents of Americans strongly believe they can smell their own bad breath, but this is a common misconception.  It is almost impossible to smell your own bad breath.  If you want to get rid of bad breath, find the cause instead of just masking the scent.

Microbiologists and scientists have found that bacteria make the main substance that causes bad breath.  When the anaerobic (without oxygen) bacteria break down protein to digest they release a sulfurous compound as the waste product.  This compound is what gives bad breath its distinctive rotten-egg bad smell. 

The most common cause of halitosis or bad breath is poor dental hygiene. However, other local and systemic conditions can also cause bad breath.  Poor oral hygiene, cavities, gum diseases, lung diseases, tongue infection, mouth ulcers and inflammation, sinus infection, diet routines, smoking, tobacco, reduced salivary glands and dry mouth are some examples of local disturbances that can cause bad breath.   Drug-induced side effects, the respiratory tract infection, lung infection, gastrointestinal illnesses, diabetics, hormonal disturbances, liver or kidney ailments can also cause bad breath.

Although everyone gets bad breath sometimes, if you have bad breath a lot, you may need to visit your dentist. After telling your dentist about your concern, your dentist or periodontist can help you to find out the cause of your bad breath.  Usually, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. In some other exceptional situations, the dentist can refer you to an appropriate medical specialist for evaluation and treatment.


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