Medical and health site

Bad breath


Bad breath is a common health problem in the society.Offenssive smell from the mouth may be due to various reasons.The main reason is the presence of anaerobic bacteria in the biofilm formed on the tongue .These bacteria degrades the proteins present in the food resulting in the production of some offenssive gases like hydrogen sulphide,skatol ect.

Bad odor from the mouth in the early morning is seen in almost all individuals.This can be controlled by maintaining oral hygiene.Even after cleaning the mouth some individuals may suffer from bad breath due to some problem in the mouth or in the nearby areas.Some general disease condition can also produce bad breath.Exact cause has to be identified and should be treated accordingly.Some common measures to cure or reduce bad breath are discussed here.

1) Oral hygiene:

Mouth should be kept clean every time to reduce the bacterial action.After food gargling with lukewarm water is very essential.Even after small food articles like snacks,sweets,buscuits cleaning with water is needed.Brushing should be done twice daily.It is said that early morning brushing is for beauty and bed time brushing is for good health.

2) Brushing techniques:

Normal brushing technique should be followed for better result.Many people brush vigorously causing damage to the gums.Brushing after every food and drink can damage the enamel .Bristles of the tooth brush should be smooth but hard enough to remove the food particles from the gaps.The direction of brushing is the most important thing.The upper teeth should be brushed in a downward direction and the lower in upward direction.This is applicable to both inner and outer surfaces.Next comes the crown of the teeth;here brushing is done in anterior and posterior direction keeping the brush in same direction.This applicable to both upper and lower set of teeth.

3) Tongue cleaning:

White or yellowish coating on the tongue can cause bad breath.This is more well marked in the morning and should be removed twice daily with the healp of a tongue cleaner. Tongue cleaner must be used gently without damaging the taste buds on the tongue.

4) Tooth pick:

Tooth pick is a small strip of wood or plastic with a pointed end.This is used to remove food particles lodged between the gaps.Very useful after eating meat and fish.Should be used gently to avoid damage to gums.

5) Gargling:

After every meal gargling with lukewarm water is useful.For better result little common salt is dissolved in the lukewarm water .Different types of mouth wash is available in the market in different trade names.Gargling with mouth wash can also reduce bad breath.

6) Food habits:

Protein containing food articles are known to produce bad breath. Example; meat, milk, fish, egg etc. If these food articles are taken proper cleaning is essential.Some food articles are known to produce particular smell which may be unpleasent for others. Raw onion is the best example.It is said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away and a raw onion a day keep every body away.Small food articles taken in between can also cause bad smell(nuts,fried items etc).Maintaining regularity in food timing is the most important thing.

7) Water intake:

Dryness in the mouth can make a favourable condition for the bacterial activity resulting in bad odor.saliva is needed to keep the mouth moist and to reduce the bacterial proliferation.Production of saliva is closely related with water balance of the body and hence sufficient quantity of water should be taken to maintain the production of saliva.

8) Mouth freshners:

Natural and artificial mouth freshners can reduce the intensity of bad breath to some extent.Spicy articles are commonly used for this purpose.Chewing spices like clove,cumin seed,cardomom,cinnamon,ginger ect are useful. All citrus fruits can reduce bad odor.Mouth freshners and chewing gums are available in the market.these products are also helpful ,but some may cause damage hence should be used with caution.

If the above things doesn't work then what to do ?

Consider the following:-

1) Remove the cause:

Bad breath is common in some general and systemic diseases like diabetes,fevers,gastric disorders,liver diseases and ect.By removing or reducing the primary cause the bad breath will go automatically.

2) Modern medicine:

If bad breath is due to any infection suitable antibiotics,anti fungal or anti viral medicines will help.If it is due to any autoimmune or chronic inflamatory conditions steroids may also be used.Saliva producing tablets can also be used.

3) Dental cleaning:

Dental cleaning done by a dentist can remove the dental plaques and tartar. This can reduce the severity of bad breath.Visit your dentist atleast once in a year.

4) Filling of caries:

Since caries are one of the main cause for bad breath it should be filled by a dentist.Earlier silver amalgam was used ,nowadays it is replaced by synthetic materials.If the pulp cavity is affected by the caries root canal treatment can be done.

5) Tooth extraction:

If caries are deep with destruction of teeth with bad smell extraction is the better choice and a dental implant can be kept in the gap.

6) Tonsillectomy:

Patients with recurrent tonsillitis can have bad breath due to offenssive discharges and release of pasty materials from the crypts of tonsils.Such patients get great relief after tonsillectomy(removal of tonsils).

7) Psychological counselling:

Those who suffer from bad breath may be very much depressed and they be away from the public .This isolation hampers their daytoday activities.Such people should understand the fact that all humanbeings are having bad breath, but with slight differences in intensities.Mostly all people control it by taking personal care.Every human body has got it's own smell,that may or may not be tolerable for others.They should be adviced to do all hygienic meashures to reduce the intensity of smell.Improving the quality of life by all possible means can also help.Moral support from friends and family members are needed for such people.

Some individuals visit the doctor for bad breath without any real problem.It is included under somatisation disorder.They usually complain about pain, breathlessness,abdominal discomfort,bad smell ect.proper diagnosis is needed to rule out any real causes.These patients should be managed with a psychological approach.

8) Homoeopathy:

In Homoeopathy medicines are selected on the basis of physical ,mental,emotional,and social aspects of the diseased person.Considering the whole aspects a constitutional homoeopathic medicine is selected and given in suitable potency and dose.By this all health related problems including bad breath will be solved.On the basis of coating on the tongue,type of smell,cause for bad breath,and other associated complaints a medicine can be given to get relief from bad breath.In the homoeopathic medical repertory by Dr Robin Murphy there are 140 homoeopathic drugs mentioned for bad breath.On the basis of signs and symptoms of the individual a suitable medicine is given.Commonly used drugs are arnica, antim crud, pulsatilla, sulphur, psorinum, nux vomica, ars alb, merc sol, kreosot, hekla lava, silicea, asafoitida, graphites, kali bich, acid nitric etc.

Homoeopathic mother tinctures like cinnamon Q,kreosot Q,zingiber Q,rhus glabra Q,menthol Q and ect can be used for gargling after diluting in water.


Effect of alcohol on the membranes


The parts which first suffer from alcohol are those expansions of the body which the anatomists call the membranes. "The skin is a membranous envelope. Through the whole of the alimentary surface, from the lips downward, and through the bronchial passages to their minutest ramifications, extends the mucous membrane. The lungs, the heart, the liver, the kidneys are folded in delicate membranes, which can be stripped easily from these parts. If you take a portion of bone, you will find it easy to strip off from it a membranous sheath or covering; if you examine a joint, you will find both the head and the socket lined with membranes. The whole of the intestines are enveloped in a fine membrane called peritoneum . All the muscles are enveloped in membranes, and the fasciculi, or bundles and fibres of muscles, have their membranous sheathing. The brain and spinal cord are enveloped in three membranes; one nearest to themselves, a pure vascular structure, a network of blood-vessels; another, a thin serous structure; a third, a strong fibrous structure. The eyeball is a structure of colloidal humors and membranes, and of nothing else. To complete the description, the minute structures of the vital organs are enrolled in membranous matter."

These membranes are the filters of the body. "In their absence there could be no building of structure, no solidification of tissue, nor organic mechanism. Passive themselves, they, nevertheless, separate all structures into their respective positions and adaptations."

Membranous deteriorations.


In order to make perfectly clear to your mind the action and use of these membranous expansions, and the way in which alcohol deteriorates them, and obstructs their work, we quote again from Dr. Richardson:

"The animal receives from the vegetable world and from the earth the food and drink it requires for its sustenance and motion. It receives colloidal food for its muscles: combustible food for its motion; water for the solution of its various parts; salt for constructive and other physical purposes. These have all to be arranged in the body; and they are arranged by means of the membranous envelopes. Through these membranes nothing can pass that is not, for the time, in a state of aqueous solution, like water or soluble salts. Water passes freely through them, salts pass freely through them, but the constructive matter of the active parts that is colloidal does not pass; it is retained in them until it is chemically decomposed into the soluble type of matter. When we take for our food a portion of animal flesh, it is first resolved, in digestion, into a soluble fluid before it can be absorbed; in the blood it is resolved into the fluid colloidal condition; in the solids it is laid down within the membranes into new structure, and when it has played its part, it is digested again, if I may so say, into a crystalloidal soluble substance, ready to be carried away and replaced by addition of new matter, then it is dialysed or passed through, the membranes into the blood, and is disposed of in the excretions.

"See, then, what an all-important part these membranous structures play in the animal life. Upon their integrity all the silent work of the building up of the body depends. If these membranes are rendered too porous, and let out the colloidal fluids of the blood the albumen, for example the body so circumstanced, dies; dies as if it were slowly bled to death. If, on the contrary, they become condensed or thickened, or loaded with foreign material, then they fail to allow the natural fluids to pass through them. They fail to dialyse, and the result is, either an accumulation of the fluid in a closed cavity, or contraction of the substance inclosed within the membrane, or dryness of membrane in surfaces that ought to be freely lubricated and kept apart. In old age we see the effects of modification of membrane naturally induced; we see the fixed joint, the shrunken and feeble muscle, the dimmed eye, the deaf ear, the enfeebled nervous function.

"It may possibly seem, at first sight, that I am leading immediately away from the subject of the secondary action of alcohol. It is not so. I am leading directly to it. Upon all these membranous structures alcohol exerts a direct perversion of action. It produces in them a thickening, a shrinking and an inactivity that reduces their functional power. That they may work rapidly and equally, they require to be at all times charged with water to saturation. If, into contact with them, any agent is brought that deprives them of water, then is their work interfered with; they cease to separate the saline constituents properly; and, if the evil that is thus started, be allowed to continue, they contract upon their contained matter in whatever organ it may be situated, and condense it.

"In brief, under the prolonged influence of alcohol those changes which take place from it in the blood corpuscles, extend to the other organic parts, involving them in structural deteriorations, which are always dangerous, and are often ultimately fatal."