Bad Breath – Symptoms And Diagnosis
Bad breath which in medical terms is known as Halitosis which is a bad smell coming out of mouth with breathing. This problem could either be transient which means it disappears after eating, brushing teeth or using mouth wash or it could be persistent and it is a serious condition. Intensity of bad breath differs from time to time and is at peak upon awakening because of exposure to less oxygen and inactiveness of mouth.
This problem is mostly located on tongue. Bacteria are found in large quantity on those parts of tongue where they are not disturbed by normal activity and they feed on leftover particle of or dead cells. Anaerobic respiration of such bacteria produces bad smell.
Although bacteria mostly are present on the back of the tongue, but dozens of types of bacteria are also present in different portions of mouth and are able to produce foul odors as a result of break down of proteins into amino acids.
Bad breath may also occur due to presence of sinus infections and foreign bodies in air exiting nostrils. Tonsils can also disseminate some bad odor, but are minor cause of bad breath. Some non-oral situations may also cause bad smell coming out of mouth and include liver failure, lungs infections, renal infection, fish odor syndrome, improper metabolism, and use of dental tools like braces. In addition, people smoking cigarettes are very often a victim of bad breath.
Some common symptoms of bad breath are emergence of bad smell from mouth; patients usually have a bad taste as well. Dryness of mouth is another symptom. The individual suffering from this disease feels that his tongue is coated with something.
Diagnosis can be made by patient himself or by taking advice of some professional. In self-diagnosis, patient either takes into confidence some close friends or sibling to check whether smell is coming from mouth or nose or by licking back of wrist than smelling it when dried. One other way is to slightly scrape back of tongue with some disposable spoon and smelling it. To check presence of sulfur compounds may also be checked and you can use some products available in the market for this purpose.
There are a lot of techniques available for professional diagnosis of the problem. One method is the use of portable sulfide monitor to monitor sulfur content in breath air. Gas chromatography is another portable machine which is used to digitally measure hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan and dimethyl sulfide in breath and this is a very accurate method. BANA test checks presence of bacteria causing bad breath. Galactosidase test is also available to serve the purpose.
Persistent bad breath is warning symptom of gum disease which is caused by developing of plaque in teeth. This gum disease could lead to serious results of damage to jaws and gums as written The Bad Breath Report. Another issue related to bad breath is yeast infection of mouth. Dryness of mouth is also caused by bad breath. Further, problems of pneumonia, sinus infection, liver and kidney problems and diabetes are also associated with bad breath. Other than health issues, it also possess several social harms which include self embarrassment and loss of confidence.