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Facts About Bad Breath

Aug 17, 2007
It is always a good idea to consult your doctor if you have any persistent medical or health problem, even something as trivial as bad breath. It helps if you can follow some tips for maintaining general hygiene to see if the problem cannot be cured without a prescription.

Bad breath is mostly a result of bacterial grows in the mouth. There are certain bacteria that grown in dry places. So a dry mouth due to reduced saliva increases saliva growth. Low saliva also means that food is not rinsed out of the mouth.

The production can be affected by various factors. There are some very simple causes related to the environment (the mouth goes dry when we sleep that is why the smell is no powerful in the morning), and more complex reasons like disease and diet. Secretion of saliva reduces with increasing age. Dehydration that can result from heat or alcohol consumption is also a contributing factor. Snoring can also result in dry a mouth giving rise to morning-breath-syndrome.

There are some diseases than can cause, or worsen, a bad breath problem. Most of these diseases come in the form in infections in the respiratory tract.

There are many over the counter and prescription drugs that also cause dehydration or specifically dryness in the mouth and throat. Antihistamines that are taken for relief from allergies usually have this side effect. Other medications include high blood pressure and therapeutic drugs for depression and similar problems. Alcoholic beverages as well as mouthwashes containing alcohol are also suspect in this regard. Most people do not pay attention to alcohol in mouthwashes, assuming this is good, but it is actually bad.

Cigarette (or other forms of tobacco) smoking is another reason for dryness of mouth. Smoking also causes several oral side effects. The precise cause of this is unknown but it is well known that smoking can indirectly result in promoting bad breath. If you have a natural bad breath problem then you can fully expect smoking to magnify the situation.

Though the body's immune system is good at fighting off various infections it is practically powerless against bacterial infections that lead to problems like bad breath. This happens because the bacteria are anaerobic (without oxygen) meaning a lack of oxygen is needed for them to thrive. The function of saliva is to circulate oxygen on the surface of the the mouth, tongue, gums, and throat. When there is no saliva, and hence no oxygen, the bacteria begin to multiply creating sulfurous compounds such as hydrogen sulfide (the same chemical responsible for the smell of rotten eggs).
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