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Home > Health & Disease in Naturopathy > Oral Ailments > Halitosis
Halitosis refers to bad breath, which is not only a sign of ill health, but it is also a social stigma. It is very common disorder and is found in many people. Unfortunately, people who suffer from this disease are completely unaware of their problem and the discomfort they cause to others.

Causes of Halitosis:
The most common cause of halitosis is bad teeth and gum conditions. Dental decay at the roots of the teeth may result in abscesses in the gums with foul-smelling pus giving an objectionable odour to the breath. Even small holes in the teeth may provide a place where germs can multiply and release foul odour.

Any conditions of the nose, throat, respiratory tract, or stomach which are associated with chronic infection or local upsets of one sort or another, such as chronic tonsillitis, lung diseases like chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis, chronic gastritis and sinuses which cause a discharge at the back of the throat can be other causes of halitosis. Most cases of bad breath, however, are caused by gastro-intestinal disorders, intestinal sluggishness and particularly by chronic constipation. The unpleasant odour results from an exceptionally large amount of waste matter expelled through the lungs. Chewing pan, tobacco and smoking are other causes of bad breath. Diseases like anaemia may also lead to unpleasant breath.

Treatment of Halitosis:
If tooth and gum conditions, tonsillitis, sinusitis, smoking or anaemia causes halitosis, these conditions must be treated. The bad breath will disappear as soon as they are treated. Similarly, correcting these disorders and cleansing the system of morbid matter can successfully treat bad breath resulting from gastro-intestinal disorders.

The patients suffering from halitosis should take a well-balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables and fruits, with emphasis on raw and cooked vegetables and fruits.

All measures should be adopted to treat constipation if it is the cause for halitosis. The patient should avoid refined carbohydrate foods, such as white sugar, white bread and products made from them as well as flesh foods and egg. Even whole grain bread should be eaten sparingly.

The patient should also avoid overeating. He should eat six to eight soaked prunes and a few dried and soaked figs with breakfast. He must also drink the water in which these fruits were soaked. He should also take plenty of liquids and drink six to eight glasses of water daily. This will help eliminate bad breath.

The teeth should be cleaned regularly twice a day especially before going to bed at night. Meat particles should be removed carefully with toothpicks. In case of decaying teeth and swollen and bleeding gums, a dentist should be consulted. Munching a raw apple or guava after lunch removes most of the trapped particles. The use of twigs of the margosa tree as toothbrush is the best method of cleaning the teeth.

Home Remedies:
Among the several home remedies for halitosis, the use of fenugreek has proved most effective. A tea made from the seeds of the vegetable should be taken regularly for correcting the condition. This tea is prepared by putting a teaspoon of seeds in half a litre of cold water and allowing it to simmer for 15 minutes over a low flame. It should then be strained and used as tea.

Another effective remedy for bad breath is the use of avocado, which is far superior to any mouth lotion or remedies for this condition. It effectively removes intestinal putrefaction or decomposition, which is one of the most important causes of bad breath.

The unripe guava is useful in halitosis. It is rich in tannic, malic, oxalic and phosphoric acids as well as calcium, oxalate and manganese. Chewing it is an excellent tonic for the teeth and gums. It helps cure bleeding from gums due to styptic effect and stops bad breath. Chewing tender leaves of guava tree so stops bleeding from gums and bad breath.

Parsley is valuable in the treatment of bad breath. Two cups of water should be boiled and several sprigs of parsley coarsely chopped should be steeped in this water along with two or three whole cloves or a quarter spoon of ground cloves. This mixture should then be stirred occasionally while cooling. It should then be strained and used as mouths wash or gargle several times a day.

All fruit and vegetable juices are beneficial in the treatment of halitosis and should be taken liberally by those suffering from this disorder. Juices from fruits like apple, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple and vegetables like tomato, carrot and celery are especially beneficial.

The person suffering from bad breath should take plenty of exercise, as lack of sufficient exercise is one of the main causes of constipation leading to halitosis.

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