Persistent Halitosis: causes and consequences

IMI Clinic

What is halitosis and by what is it caused?

Halitosis is an ailment that can afflict subjects of any age or sex. It is an unpleasant odor coming from the oral cavity.

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In most case, halitosis originates in the mouth, when food residue turns into bacteria and forms plaque, which accumulates on the teeth and tongue.

When the cause of halitosis cannot be found in poor oral hygiene, there can be several others:

  • Diseases of the digestive system such as ulcers with acid reflux
  • Renal diseases
  • Liver diseases
  • Diseases of the respiratory tract that cause people to breathe through their mouths

Also, the causes of persistent halitosis could be foods or beverages such as coffee, alcohol, and dairy products. Finally, cigarette smoke and stress can be just as relevant factors contributing to worsen the condition.

All of us can suffer from bad breath, but when halitosis becomes persistent, it can be considered an actual disease.


Pathological halitosis

Halitosis is considered pathological when it is not transitory and becomes a persistent condition, compromising the patient’s social relations.

However, in these cases halitosis is a signal that should absolutely not be underestimated, because it could be the harbinger of periodontal disease (periodontitis/pyorrhea), of other diseases of the oral cavity, or of other systemic illnesses.

If your halitosis is permanent, you will have to see a dentist and undergo a Halimeter test to establish the amount of volatile sulphur compounds in your breath.

The subjects most at risk of suffering from halitosis are those who, because of a disease of the oral cavity or the presence of prostheses, have a hard time carrying out a proper daily oral hygiene.

Only a small number of patients with halitosis has stomach or kidney problems, or diabetes. Also, the use of some prescription drugs, such as antidepressants and antihistamines, causes a change in the composition of the saliva and can lead to bad breath. Finally, smokers are particularly halitosis prone.

If you have persistent halitosis, contact the specialists of IMI Clinics now for an in-depth analysis of the health conditions of your mouth.

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