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Halitosis is an ailment that can afflict patients of any sex or age and causes an unpleasant smell in the oral cavity.
In most cases, the origin of halitosis can be found in the mouth, where food residue turns into the bacteria forming plaque that accumulates on the teeth and the tongue.
When the cause of bad breath can’t be found in poor oral hygiene, the reasons may be many. Diseases of the digestive apparatus, in fact, such as ulcers with acid reflux, can cause halitosis; just like those illnesses that involve the kidneys or the liver. Finally, diseases that involve the respiratory system causing patients to breathe through their mouths can also cause halitosis.
Some food and beverages can cause bad breath, and among these: coffee, alcohol, and dairy products. Smoking and stress can also be relevant joint causes and contribute to the worsening of the ailment.
All of us can periodically suffer from bad breath, but when the halitosis becomes persistent it can be considered an actual illness. Halitosis is considered an illness when it is not transient and becomes a persistent condition, to the point that it compromises your social relations. However, in these cases halitosis can be a signal that should definitely not be underestimated because it could be the harbinger of periodontal diseases, of other ailments of the oral cavity, or of systemic diseases. Should the halitosis become permanent, you should see a dentist and take a Halimeter test that can quantify the volatile sulphur compounds in the breath.
The subjects most at risk are those who have a hard time carrying out a regular oral hygiene because of diseases of the oral cavity or the presence of prostheses. Only a small number of patients with halitosis suffers from gastric or renal illnesses, or diabetes. Some prescription drugs, such as antidepressants and antihistamines, can also cause a change in the composition of your saliva, causing bad breath. Finally, smokers especially risk having halitosis.
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