Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. It is estimated that around 30% of the world population suffers from this pathology, regardless of gender, social class, or age. There are references to halitosis and its problems dating back thousands of years. It has always been considered a social embarrassment.

This pathology also has a negative spiritual connotation in religions with global influence. We will give you some examples. Jewish priests suffering from halitosis were forbidden to perform their duties. Islamic theology addresses the importance of cleaning teeth with a wooden toothpick during Ramadan to prevent bad breath. Hindus would say how important it is to keep your mouth clean, particularly before praying as the mouth is the entrance door to the body. Therefore, bad breath has always indicated abnormal bacterial activity or physiological body changes.

Bad Breath and Halitosis Causes

  • Periodontal disease, tooth decay, diabetes, respiratory tract infections, gastro-oesophageal reflux.
  • Toxic habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Stress – The nervous system will produce less saliva, affecting its renovation and mouth cleaning.
  • Through kissing. People have a great bacterial diversity in their mouths that can be transmitted between them by kissing.
  • Hereditary predisposition.
  • Some medications, such as antidepressants and antibiotics, may cause or aggravate bad breath. Eating habits with long fasting, high-carbohydrate diets, high-fat diets, and reduced water intake may aggravate the symptoms.

Psychological Effects of halitosis

Personal image is very important for interpersonal relations. An unpleasant odour is considered unappealing and undermines normal relationships between individuals. When you are aware of the problem, you will cover your mouth while speaking, keep a greater distance during conversation, and avoid interpersonal relations. This pathology causes anxiety, embarrassment, insecurity, and compulsive behaviours, such as brushing your teeth too often.

Available Treatments

  • There are oral antiseptics, mouthwash, and antibiotic mouthwash for therapeutic purposes.
  • Treating systemic issues will make it possible to remove some pathologies associated with halitosis. It is very important to identify the disorder or source, which causes this problem in order to find the best treatment.
  • In most cases, a pharmacological therapy is used.
  • A rich and balanced diet combined with proper fluid intake will contribute to reducing unpleasant odours.
  • Halitophobia is treated with the help of a psychologist.

Preventive Care

  • Avoid eating foods with a strong odour that may cause halitosis.
  • Tooth decay may also be the source of bad breath. Thereby, it is essential to have a dentist appointment to identify and treat tooth decay and prevent periodontal disease.
  • Do not smoke and avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Brushing your teeth more than four times a day will prevent bad breath.
  • There are devices that provide a halitosis diagnosis. The methodology includes an analysis of the exhaled air.
  • If you get a positive result, seek advice from a qualified health professional.