Oral Malodour

Oral malodour or halitosis is a condition whereby unpleasant odours emanate from the oral cavity. This may also be associated with changes in taste or dryness in the oral cavity.

It is important to understand that oral odour is usually normal. This is often a consequence of eating various foods such as garlic, onion or spices, foods such as cabbage, cauliflower and radish, or of habits such as smoking, or drinking alcohol. It is also noted early in the morning (morning breath). The best way to manage this type of oral malodour is by brushing and rinsing the oral cavity after such products or by avoiding these products.

Oral malodour can be considered as abnormal when it is persisting despite the patient maintaining good oral hygiene procedures and avoiding odour causing foods.

Various causes exist. The most common include:

  • Infective processes such decay, oral ulcers etc.,
  • Inflammation and infections of gums
  • Neglected cleaning or a poorly designed dental appliance
  • Decreased salivation in the mouth
  • Nasal or gastric infections
  • Gastro oesophageal reflux disease
  • Visit a dentist to identify the exact cause of oral malodour
  • Follow good brushing techniques. Tongue cleaning with a tongue scraper is often useful.
  • Use a dentist recommended mouth wash regularly.
  • Always clean your dentures well and keep them in water overnight unless advised otherwise.
  • Rinse your mouth after meals.
  • Avoid foods and habits which cause increased odour. Eg: garlic, onion, radish, and smoking and alcoholism.

Last updated on 02 December, 2018.

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