Posts tagged ‘bad breath’

Bad breath, medically called ‘halitosis’, is an embarrassing problem that affects a significant percent of our population and indirectly bothers close non-sufferers too. Our sense of smell has the ability to adjust to odour, hence most sufferers are often not aware of their own bad breath.

Bad breath can result from poor oral health care habits or can also be a sign of health problems elsewhere. Our lifestyle and what we eat can modify it either way. However, the only odour that comes from the stomach is when we burp. Garlic, onions and spicy foods, when eaten and absorbed into the body, can release odour through the lungs when we breathe. Such food odours are transitory and should not be mistaken for bad breath.

Research shows that most bad breath originates from the mouth. If we don’t brush our teeth regularly and correctly, food particles tend to remain lodged in the tiny spaces between our teeth. This increases the chance of bacterial growth between the teeth, around the gums and on the tongue. This can cause bad breath. Smoking and chewing of tobacco and gutka can also cause bad breath. Disease of the gums due to build up of plaque on the teeth, ill-fitting dentures, dental decay, fungal infections of the mouth, dry mouth due to various causes, mouth breathing, chronic infections of the sinuses, throat or tonsils, post-nasal drip, chronic acid reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney problems and even some medicines can all lead to bad breath.

To prevent or reduce bad breath which is primarily oral, it is advisable to follow some general measures:

  • Brush your teeth regularly at least twice a day and ideally even after meals. It is important to brush teeth in the correct manner. Replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months and earlier if it gets worn out.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for early detection of problems and cleaning that may be required.
  • Quit smoking and chewing tobacco or gutka.
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water a day to keep the mouth moist and flush out toxins from your system.
  • Cinnamon has bacteria fighting properties, in this way it helps to fight bad breath.
  • Anything that makes you salivate will help to keep away bad breath.

Maintaining oral hygiene is a must even if you choose to take treatment for bad breath. Homoeopathic treatment will involve a detailed assessment which should ascertain the probable cause of the problem. If the cause is connected to deeper health issues rather than just oral hygiene, the Homoeopath will take a detailed case history, inquiring into physical, emotional and mental aspects of the patient’s complete personality along with family history and past medical history. This is important to enable the Homoeopath to choose a constitutional remedy for the patient which will work to improve the body’s own immunity and defence mechanisms. Apart from constitutional treatment, the Homoeopath may also target the relevant cause with remedies which have an affinity for the local problem, in this way shortening the time for cure.