The Causes of Bad Breath and Treatment.
Halitosis is a term coined from the merger of the Latin halitus (breath) and Greek osis (pathological process), which describes the condition known to all of us as “bad breath.” Researchers show that up to 50% of the population has some form of bad breath. Of those, the majority of the malodor originates from the oral cavity.
Malodors can also come from problems with the intestines, liver, kidneys, stomach, and lungs. For example, people with diabetes ketoacidosis may have a sweet-smelling breath that also smells like acetone. In renal failure cases, the person’s breath might smell like urea.
It is interesting to mention that a small portion of the population perceives bad breath, which is not there. Yeap! It is sad, but the patient is respectfully referred to a psychologist.
In the oral cavity, the bad boy, Tony Montana, to point the finger at is Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSC), which appear as gasses in a breath. VSC(tons of them in rotten eggs) is the byproduct of protein digestion by bacteria, and there are different types of VSC. Gum disease, caries, infected tonsils, and the posterior surface of the tongue are the biggest contributors to bacteria that produce VSC.
According to Dr. Minasyan, two very important factors merit a bigger spotlight and attention: Air humidity and the magic of teeth-whitening mouthwash.
In many parts of continents, including our wonderful City of Angels, the amount of water in the air, relative humidity, is insufficient (sometimes as low as 15%) to provide constant support for external hydration throughout the year. So what comes in goes out, right? Well, imagine you are sleeping, and you exhale more water in the air than you inhale.
In total, your body is in dehydration mode: Hence, it is likely to be followed by dry mouth, disturbance in sleep, headaches, sore jaw and neck muscles in the mornings, excessive grinding and clenching, general fatigue, unwillingness to wake up, irritating behavior, etc. Oh! Have you got a terrible hangover?
We have given you pieces of the puzzle and are guessing that many of you, sharpshooters out there, have solved the puzzle. You have got it right, folks! Get a humidifier, “por favor”. Set it to about 53% relative humidity and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Just make sure to use some filtered water as in many municipalities, the water content of calcium is high, and there will be white powder residues on your countertops: Unless you like playing tic-tac-toe.
Here comes the magic of teeth-whitening mouthwash with peroxide content: Peroxide is our best friend scavenger and keeps the VOC-producing bacteria from going nuts in the oral cavity. Here’s an easy way to control bacteria count and help whiten teeth overnight: before going to bed, drink a glass of water, brush and floss your teeth, scrape your tongue, and swish/gargle with mouthwash (a good 60 seconds). Then, repeat the routine the morning after.
Hold on! Dr. Kharen Minasyan, at MK Dental Office in Valley Village, CA, almost forgot to mention another cool thing to take home with you.
Many people have acid reflux problems, whether or not it is asymptomatic or there is a sign of heartburn or acid going all the way up to give you a tingling vinaigrette, Cabernet Sauvignon, throat punch. So let’s put the microscope on and dissect some additional pieces of the puzzle by looking at the esophagus, which is the tube that connects the stomach to the oral cavity.
Acid reflux irritates the lining of the esophagus. We have some dead homeboys who require some love and attention. Unfortunately, dead cells and microbes do not smell anything like Chanel #5 perfume. Normally, in sleep, we swallow saliva subconsciously several times to wash out the oral cavity and esophagus from unwanted vigilantes. Imagine that you are dehydrated and have got a low saliva flow rate.
When you wake up, eat something crunchy with a warm or hot liquid such as coffee or tea. This shall help detach the spooky zombies lining your esophagus and derail them six feet under, deep down into your gut, and beyond.
Just remember, if you ever need to speak with a professional, we are one phone call away.