Halitosis or most commonly bad breath are terms used to describe noticeably unpleasant odor exhaled in breathing (Gage, 2007).
Halitosis can be important social problem in which the standard dental treatment and mouth wash that are often recommended provide only temporary relief. The smell is from an oral source due to bacterial activities (Rosemberg, 2002).
Oral malodor is primarily the result of microbial metabolism, the mouth is a home of hundreds of bacterial species with various nutritional preferences. The most common location for mouth related halitosis is the tongue. Tongue bacterial produce malordor and fatty acid and count for about 80 to 90 percent of all cases of mouth related bad breath. Large quantities of naturally occurring bacteria are often found on the dorsum of the tongue, where they are relatively undisturbed by normal activities. This part of the tongue is relatively dry and poorly cleansed and bacterial populations can thrive on remnants of food deposits, dead epithelial cells and post nasal drip. The convoluted microbial structure of the tongue dorsum provides an ideal habitat for anaerobic bacterial, which flourish under a continually – forming tongue coating of food debris, dead cells, post nasal drip and overlying bacteria living and dead when left on the tongue the anaerobic respiration of such bacterial can yield either the putrescent smell of indole, skatole, methyl mercapton, alloymethyl sulfide and dimethyl sulfide (Tonzentich, 1997).
The organism digest protein, and several fatid substance arise leading to bad breath. Oral malodor from the overgrowth of proteolytic, anerobic gram negative bacterial the creavices of the tongue dorsum can be successfully diagnosed and treated (Lochner et al, 2000).
There are several causes of halitosis although the main one is oral bacterial over 90 million people suffer from chronic halitosis which is medical term for bad breath in most cases halitosis originate from the gums and tongue, caused by bacterial from the decay of food particles, other debris in the mouth and poor oral hygiene. In most cases (85-90%) bad breath originate in the mouth itself.
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