Many people suffer from halitosis every day of the year. It is a hard to diagnose problem which many people believe they have. Halitosis, or oral malodor, breath odor, foul breath, fetor oris, fetor ex ore, and bad breath, is the third most common reason people visit the dentist.
The above terms in the list are all used to describe noticeably unpleasant odors which are exhaled by an individual through breathing. They all describe breathing, regardless of whether the smell is from an oral source of not. This disorder has a significant impact on those who have it and those who believe they have it. Many people believe they have halitosis. When it is a highly exaggerated concern of having bad breath, the condition is called halitophobia.
Halitosis, or bad breath, originates in the mouth 85 - 90% of the time. It can originate in the mouth, tonsils, nose, or from gum disease. The intensity of bad breath exhibited differs throughout the day. The smell of a person's breath is influenced by oral dryness (can be caused by stress), eating certain foods (onions, garlic), obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Because a person's mouth is dry and inactive at night, the odors emanating from a person's mouth in the morning are worse. This condition is known as “morning breath. "
Bad breath can be transient in which is disappears following eating, brushing one's teeth, flossing, and rinsing with specialized mouth wash, or persistent which is chronic bad breath. Persistent bad breath is the more serious form of halitosis. This form of fetor oris affects roughly one quarter of the population to varying degrees. It is capable of negatively impacting an individual's personal, social, and business relationships. In addition, it can lead to poor self esteem and increased stress. The increased level of stress then causes the mouth to be more dry which causes the odor to be worse.
Persistent halitosis is caused by the metabolic activity of certain types of oral bacteria. Something about how the bacterium makes its food and converts energy leads people to have bad breath.
Fortunately, fetor ex ore can be treated through various measures. These include using anti-bacterial mouthwashes as well as scraping one's tongue. Eating a breakfast with rough foods has also been though to alleviate some of the bad breath problem.
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