You may have bad breath and not even know it.
Bad breath, otherwise referred to as halitosis, was first coined in 1921 by the Listerine
Company. It generally means an unpleasant odor that comes from the mouth during breathing.
Foul smelling mouth odor can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term) depending on the cause. It may indicate the need to clean the teeth and mouth more often, tooth or gum disease, or intestinal disorders. Consult your dentist and/or physician if the condition persists.
What causes Halitosis?
Based on research performed at some of the top universities in the world, it's been determined that bad breath is caused by anaerobic bacteria that live beneath the surface of your tongue.
These bacteria are not "bad guys", rather they are a normal part of your oral environment and break down the proteins in foods, your natural oral tissue, and in mucus or phlegm.
During this process of breaking down these proteins, they extract sulfur from the amino acids, and produce Volatile Sulfur Compounds such as Methyl Mercaptan (which smells sort
of like dirty socks) and Hydrogen Sulfide (the 'rotten egg' smell).
These bacteria are anaerobic, which literally means 'without the presence of oxygen". They breed by the billions deep within the fibers(papillae) of the tongue because in normal
circumstances, oxygen cannot penetrate beneath the surface of the tongue.
Fundamentally, preventing bad breath is simple. . . you must introduce oxygen into the environment of these anaerobic bacteria. That's it - it's as plain and simple as that!
But the sad truth is that the commercial toothpaste and mouthwash manufacturers have been missing the boat for the last 50 years!
3 different types of Halitosis.
About 95% of the world population will be concerned about their breath at some time in their life. These people might be concerned after a particularly satisfying meal full of
garlic or onions, or maybe after smoking a cigarette or a few alcoholic drinks (both of which are terrible for your breath!)
A full 54% of those will fight a constant daily battle to keep their breath fresh throughout the day. They will use mints, gum, and sprays trying in vain to prevent occasional bad breath.
Worldwide, about 27%of the population will experience chronic halitosis. Chronic Halitosis is defined as "a persistent, foul, fetid odor, emitted from the mouth and/or nose". People with chronic halitosis usually know they have a problem but don't know what to do about it. Most people with this disease have excellent oral hygiene - they may brush and floss 2-3 times per day. But it doesn't seem to make a difference. . .
So How Can You Tell When your breath smells? And Really. . . How Bad Is It? It's a well known fact that you can't smell
your own breath. Or is it….Most people have heard this at one time or another, but it turns out that it's NOT TRUE! In fact you CAN smell your own breath! Many of the patients I meet with tell me that that can smell and sometimes even taste their own
bad breath. Unfortunately I have some bad news for you…
Whatever you can smell and/or taste in your own mouth, can seem 5 times stronger to those around you! The fact is, we get used to our own body smells (it's a process called acclimation - otherwise, all we would smell all day is our upper lip!). We can still smell them, but they are not as offensive to us as
they are to other people. Put simply, "We Think We Smell Like Roses!"
Because of this, except for in the case of chronic halitosis, we are usually the LAST to know that there may be a problem. Bad
breath is a very taboo subject between most people. Unless you have a trusted significant other that will be honest with you, most of the time you DON'T EVEN KNOW that your breath may be offensive.
So what are some of the typical signs that you may have a breath problem? How can you check for yourself?
6 common symptoms of Halitosis
1. Tonsiloliths(Tonsil Stones)
Those smelly white (globs) that you may cough up from the back of your throat.
2. Thick white coating on the back of your tongue.
Constant Dry Mouth
The feeling of 'smelling' bad mouth odor through your sinuses.
Excess Mucous and/or Post-Nasal Drip. A Metallic, Tinny Taste
How do you stop Bad Breath?
Remember that stopping bad breath really is as simple as oxygen to the anaerobic environment of the bacteria that produce those volatile sulfur compounds. This is done by introducing stabilized Oxychlor molecules in that environment where they live. Remember, most of the bacteria live under the surface of your tongue, so you MUST use something that penetrates below your tongue surface. You also need to make sure that the active ingredients are actually reaching your 'problem areas'.
Remember the three different types of bad breath? Occasional, Situational, and Chronic?
In ANY of these cases, you must neutralize those bacteria to prevent bad breath.
How To Prevent The Different Types of bad breath
For Occasional Bad Breath
You need to stimulate saliva production (saliva is nature's breath freshener). Sugar-free mints may help, but the latest
sugar-free mints contain a hodge-podge of chemicals designed to burn the insides of your mouth. They were designed by marketing
people, not breath specialists. Also, make sure you drink lots of water - just the simple act of adding oxygen-rich water to your oral environment, may be enough to freshen your
breath to a comfortable level for a short period of time.
Sugar Free Mints
may help, but the latest sugar-free mints contain a hodge-podge of chemicals designed to burn the insides of your mouth. They were designed by marketing people, not breath specialists. Also, make sure you drink lots of water - just the simple act of adding oxygen-rich water to your oral environment, may be enough to freshen your breath to a comfortable level for a short period of time.
For Situational Bad Breath you need to get a little more serious. Most likely you already have a decent amount of sulfur production, and you should be (GENTLY)
scraping your tongue
and applying an
that doesn't contain
sodium lauryl sulfate
,to the surface of your tongue, especially at the very back. Also
rinse twice a day with a mouthwash that contains OXYD-8 (also make sure that it doesn't contain Benzalkonium Chloride - studies show that it causes a high rate of allergic response which can stimulate mucus production, making your breath worse, not better!). You also may want to try and stay away from proteins before an important conversation.
For Chronic Mouth Odor
You must go all out. Most people with chronic Halitosis have post-nasal drip and excess mucus buildup in the back of their throat. These people need to find an
that reaches the throat and sinuses where most mouthwashes and toothpaste can't touch.
For these individuals I recommend an Oxyd-Vlll based oral product. Oxyd-VIII is the active ingredient in
products. It prevents the anaerobic bacteria from creating the odorous sulfide and Mercaptan compounds by "adding oxygen" to the environment. The end result is the formation of a "Sulfate", which has no odor or taste.
No one likes halitosis. The good news is, thanks to modern advances in breath care, you can be kissably fresh.
Much of the content in this article is due in thanks to Dr. Harold Katz of
California Breath Clinics
. He is one of the pioneers in successfully fighting bad breath.
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