<strong>I’m losing self confidence because of  mouth odour</strong>

<strong>I’m losing self confidence because of  mouth odour</strong>

Dear Doctor,

I’m a 32-year old guy and I’ve just got a job with an IT company in Lagos. I really want to put in my best in every aspect of the job.

But the only problem I have right now is about my interaction with colleagues in the office. I’m not so confident about my breath. No matter how hard I brush, I find that people turn away from me when I’m close to them and I speak. A girl friend has actually told me that I have an offensive mouth odour and we never kissed throughout our two year-relationship. I have confirmed that I truly have a mouth odour by breathing into my palm from time to time and realised it is constant. Doctor, I brush twice daily in the morning and before I go to bed at night. Sometimes I even brush in the afternoon whenever I’m at home.

What could be the problem with me? Is it true that some diseases present with mouth odour? What can I do?

Doctor, the problem has affected me so much that I’m losing confidence in myself. I can’t even bring myself to talk to ladies again for relationship. Please help.

J.O, Lagos.

Dr. Okon says:

Treatment of Halitosis (mouth odour) is best when you consult your Dentist

J.O of life,

How are you? Thank you for not keeping this to yourself. I also can imagine what you may have been through, psychologically – your relationship, your colleagues in the office – you have been quite brave, well done.

So let’s discuss a little about Halitosis a.k.a mouth odour or bad breath

What is Halitosis?

It is a general term used to define an unpleasant or offensive odour emanating from the breath, whether it’s origin is from the oral cavity or non-oral sources. The name originates from two Latin words: Halitus (breath) and Osis (disease)

How common is Halitosis?

The incidence of Halitosis remains poorly documented in most countries but in a Brazilian Study it was reported to be 15% and 3 times more frequent in men than women. The risk is also higher (more than 3 times) in people above the age of 20 years, controlling for gender.

What are the types?

Physiologic or Pathologic.

Physiologic: Morning breath odour; tobacco smoking; certain foods/medications (garlic, onions etc.)

Pathologic (intra-or extra-oral in origin): 90% of cases are from the oral cavity (could be due to poor oral hygiene, tongue coatings or oral diseases); 10-20% are extra-oral in origin.  Systemic diseases like Chronic sinusitis, tonsillitis, infections or malignancy in the respiratory tract, diseases of the digestive system, Diabetes, Kidney failure, etc.

How do you detect Halitosis/Diagnosis?

Self assessment tests: Whole mouth malodor (cupped breath); Wrist lick test. There are however some more objective tests e.g. Halitox System, Bana test, Sulphide Monitoring, etc.

Halitosis is better Prevented. How?

  • Brushing of teeth at least twice daily with appropriate brushing techniques and for at least 2-3minutes.
  • Visit a Dentist regularly (at least twice a year)
  • Periodic tooth cleaning by a dental professional
  • Limit intake of strong odour species, sugar and caffeine
  • Drink  plenty of liquids especially water, do not allow your mouth to be dry.
  • Eat fresh vegetables and fruits often

Treatment is best when you consult your Dentist who will treat according to the cause elicited.

I hope these answer your questions.

Thank you and best wishes as you enjoy fresh breath following the advice provided.



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