What is Halitosis (Bad Breath), causes, treatment and more


What is Halitosis?

Halitosis, which can also be called bad breath, is not a disease, but a sign that there is something wrong with health. Thus, the problem must be identified for correct treatment. In Brazil, 3 out of 10 people suffer from the problem, totaling about 50 million people.

The nickname “breath of jaguar” to people who suffer from halitosis occurs because carnivorous animals, when they feed, may have traces of the meat stuck in their teeth and that, over time, rot, causing a bad smell. It is believed that 4 out of 10 people suffer from the problem of bad breath.

People who suffer from halitosis usually do not notice it, because they end up getting used to it, causing only those around them to be able to smell the bad odor. Problems of self – esteem and socialization due to the removal of people due to bad odor can arise.


There are types of halitosis that can be classified and characterized as:

Objective halitosis with or without many consequences

This type of halitosis is known for its obvious stench that can be perceived by those close to you and which may or may not have other consequences. Objective halitosis can be identified by reading the Halimeter and the organoleptic test. In most of these cases, the patient is aware of his condition.

Halitosis controlled with the presence of many consequences

The person with this type of halitosis develops several consequences of the problem and indicate evident signs, such as tongue coating, hyposalivation, poor oral hygiene and others.

Family members and friends who live with the person who has halitosis do not notice the bad smell, as the patient is able to control halitosis with bullets, chewing gum and mouthwashes. Generally, in these cases, patients believe that they have strong or moderate halitosis causing insecurity and behavioral problems.

In some cases, psychological counseling can be done.

Subjective halitosis with the presence of many consequences

The patient believes that he has bad breath, with several consequences, but there are no signs to indicate the presence of the condition. In rare cases, psychological counseling can be done to treat the patient.

Degree of difficulty III in treating the consequences of halitosis

In such cases, halitosis does not exist or exists and is controlled, and does not harm the patient. People are under illusions that they may be bothering them because of bad breath and end up walking away, thus causing social isolation.

When this develops, psychological or psychiatric monitoring is essential to increase the chance of an effective result.

Bitter taste / mouth change

The change in taste is one of the most common conditions of bad breath, with bitter taste being one of the most common. The vast majority of cases can be resolved with treatment.

In few cases, the patient may have physiological disorders related to smell and taste.

The causes of halitosis

Halitosis can happen for several reasons, such as, for example, what you ingested, poor oral hygiene, alcohol or tobacco ingestion, diseases such as diabetes , inflammation of the gums, plaque of bacteria located on the tongue (tongue coating), missing periodontal diseases of salivation and even stress .

As in the case of jaguars, if the teeth are not brushed correctly, food scraps can be lodged between the teeth and gums. Over time, the decomposition of food brings on the stench.


Foods such as onions and garlic can also cause bad breath, because in addition to being very strong, substances from them fall into the bloodstream and are transferred to the lung, expelling the smell. The bad odor only ends when the food is eliminated by the body.

Such food, prolonged fasting, hypoglycemia , diabetes and not offset the change in organs such as liver, intestine and kidneys are known as caseum tonsil. Although they have several causes, they have a small percentage of halitosis.

Amigladlian casses

The amygdala chase are small balls that look like “clays” that get stuck in the small cavities of the tonsils and cause an unpleasant odor.


Hyposalivation, also known as xerostomia, occurs when the flow of salivation falls. Salivation is an important function of the body to remove particles that can cause a bad odor and is also responsible for cleaning the mouth. Its lack can be caused by the use of medications, by excessive breathing in the mouth and also by problems in the salivary glands.

Stress and the patient’s emotional side are also important factors, as they are responsible for decreasing salivation or causing hypoglycemia, both of which cause halitosis.

ballast lingual

The tongue coating is a common cause of halitosis and is composed of bacteria, food scraps, flaking cells from the mouth and mucus from the saliva that stick to the surface of the tongue. This problem is very common because it can happen even with the correct cleaning of the tongue.

Stomach myth

There is a myth that the stomach is the cause of bad breath, but this is a lie, a rare exception of esophageal diverticulosis. Bad breath can occur due to belching and reflux, but this type of bad odor is temporary.


The main symptom of halitosis is bad breath, but this symptom is not “felt” by the person who has the problem, but by others. As the person himself loses the sensitivity of his own odor, it is up to others to signal the problem and indicate help. Close friends and family are the best people to warn the patient, in addition, of course, to the specialist.


The most suitable specialist to diagnose halitosis is the dentist, but as there are several causes, other professionals can also recognize the problem.

Going to the dental office frequently can make the problem less severe.

How to treat Halitosis

To treat halitosis, you need to analyze all the factors that can cause the problem. To begin treatment, a detailed conversation with the specialist is necessary. Doing tests and evaluations, such as checking the flow of saliva, heart rate and also blood pressure, can be essential.

That done, performing an oral exam to identify the conditions of the gums, teeth, tongue, cheeks, lips and even the tonsils may be enough to develop a treatment plan that can be done in clinics specialized only in halitosis.

This type of specialized clinic is also responsible for treating problems caused by halitosis, such as insecurity and low self-esteem, and establishing a better social life.

How to live with the problem?

Living with people who have bad breath can become a difficult task. As someone who has the problem is not able to feel it, it is always advisable to notify the person so that they can seek treatment and solve this problem, which is so uncomfortable for everyone.


Halitosis treatment has two main functions: recovering good breath and bringing safety to the patient. If the disease is not treated, some consequences can arise, such as:

  • Neuroses;
  • Social withdrawal;
  • Serious trauma;
  • Failures or changes in certain organs;
  • Depression;
  • Difficulty in establishing loving and affective relationships;
  • Low student or professional performance;
  • Low self esteem;
  • Lack of confidence;
  • Anxiety.


To prevent halitosis it is recommended to keep brushing up to date (3 times a day), floss and use mouthwash. But it is necessary to warn that sometimes, even with all these precautions, the problem can arise from other causes already mentioned.

There are some tips that can prevent the problem, they are known as:

  • Avoid alcohol and excessive smoking;
  • Visit the dentist at least every six months;
  • Eat small meals every 3 hours, because fasting can compromise your breath;
  • Avoid excessive consumption of foods that contain a strong smell;
  • Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water (2L per day);
  • Reduce stress;
  • Practice physical activities.

As much as the symptoms indicate a possible cause, it is essential to consult with a dentist, so that he can adjust a specific treatment for you. Not self-medicating is important for the expected result to come in a short time.

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