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 Bad Breath (Halitosis)

It is an unpleasant odor in the breath (medically known as halitosis) that comes from the mouth or nose and disturbs both the person and those around him.

Some people are very concerned about what their breath smells like, even if they have little or almost no bad breath. Some people do not realize that their mouth smells bad. Bad breath is a social problem that concerns up to fifty percent of the society. It is very important in social and emotional relationships. It causes people to avoid social environments and close relationships, they lose self-confidence, they constantly want to cover their mouths with their hands, they are socially excluded and they are exposed to psychological distress.

Factors that cause bad breath may vary depending on the underlying cause. Bad breath is divided into three classes as physiological bad breath, pathological and psychological bad breath. Physiological bad breath occurs as a result of increased microbial activity due to reasons such as a decrease in the amount of saliva during the night and the inability to perform physiological cleaning with the mouth muscles and tongue. Pathological type of halitosis; It usually occurs with oral-pharynx diseases and various systemic diseases. Bad breath may also occur in the course of chronic tonsillitis, fungal diseases occurring in the mouth, and diseases that cause sores in the mouth. Salivary gland diseases, diabetes, hepatitis, vitamin deficiencies, menopause, emotional tension and medications that cause dry mouth;

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  • oral origin

  • Respiratory tract origin (sinusitis, ulcer, bronchitis)

  • Caused by systemic infection (diabetes, renal failure, pharyngitis)

Oral causes account for 90% of patients with halitosis. Intense stress can cause bad breath. Bad breath, called "halitosis", arises from the products of bacteria in the mouth containing "hydrogen sulfide". In individuals under stress, halitosis may indirectly occur with a decrease in salivary flow. Stress can negatively affect oral and dental health as well as body health.



How to detect bad breath?

A patient with a diagnosis of halitosis needs to take a very detailed anamnesis regarding the duration of halitosis, the time of day when it occurs most, and the mouth, teeth and other systems. To confirm whether there is bad breath, information should be obtained from the family and, if necessary, from friends. Halimeter; It plays an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of bad breath by detecting volatile sulfur compounds.

How to treat bad breath?

Before starting treatment, the source of the odor must be found. Here, teams such as dentists, ENT specialists and gastroenterologists working together to evaluate patients will definitely increase the success of the treatment. The most common source of bad breath is oral and dental diseases. The effective method in the treatment of bad breath is oral cleaning and basic tooth-gum care.

Improper nutrition feeds bacteria. The number of bacteria increases in people with poor oral hygiene. In the physiological type of bad breath, where diet is also effective, high protein content; It occurs as a result of the interaction of bacteria with foods such as red meat, fish, cheese and dairy products. Additionally, smelly foods such as onions, garlic and radishes also cause bad breath because they contain sulfur, which causes bad breath. Alcohol, coffee and cigarette use can also cause bad breath. It is very important to clean the tongue correctly. Bad breath is basically related to the hygiene of the oral cavity and the health status of teeth and gums.


The odor is caused by food residues, cells shed from the oral mucosa, saliva and residues of leukocytes collected in the mouth. Bad breath originating from the mouth; It is mostly caused by gum diseases, tooth decay, and decay under old fillings and crowns in the mouth. In addition, if the back of the tongue cannot be completely cleaned by saliva, bacteria can easily settle in the small wrinkles there, which can lead to bad breath. Bad breath originating from the nose and sinuses also occurs. The presence of foreign objects in the nose or mouth-pharynx can cause inflammation and cause bad breath.

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