Waking up this morning I thought “Fie!”
You know this unpleasant smelly breath in the morning. Why so? Is it common or it happen only with me?
Or you lean over to whisper something to your friend and you can tell by the look on your friend’s face that something is up. Could it be your breath? Maybe you shouldn’t have put extra onions on your hamburger at lunch. What’s a man (woman) with smelly breath to do?
The good news is that bad breath happens to everyone once in a while… Really good 🙂
Let’s find out how to detect it, prevent it, and even treat it.
What is Bad Breath?
Bad breath is the common name for the medical condition known as Halitosis. Whether you call it bad breath or halitosis, it’s an unpleasant condition that’s cause for embarrassment. Some people with bad breath aren’t even aware there’s a problem. If you’re concerned about bad breath, see your dentist. He or she can help identify the cause and, if it’s due to an oral condition, develop a treatment plan to help eliminate it.
How to Check if You Have Halitosis?
These 5 easy steps below will help test your breath and find out do you have Bad Breath:
- Lick the back of your hand. Let it dry for a few seconds and then smell. If you notice and odor, you have a breath disorder.
- Place dental floss between your back teeth and then smell the floss.
- While looking at the mirror, grab the tip of your tongue with a Kleenex and pull it out as far you can. If you see that the very back of your tongue is whitish in color, it may be a sign that you have bad breath.
- Ask the opinion of someone you can trust. Check your breath several times daily because your breath changes throughout the day.
- Professional use of a Halimeter will measures the concentration of volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) in the mouth.
What Causes Bad Breath?
For any individual the exact status of their breath can be difficult to ascertain. The reason for this lies in the fact that the oral cavity, the source of our breath, is connected to our nose by way of an opening which lies in the back of our mouth (back in the region of our soft palate). Since noses tend to filter out and ignore background odors, it filters out and ignores our own bad breath. This means it is quite possible for a person to have bad breath (halitosis), yet not be aware of it.
Here are three common causes of bad breath:
- Foods and drinks, such as garlic, onions, cheese, orange juice, and soda…
- Poor dental hygiene, meaning you don’t brush and floss as you should.
- Smoking and other tobacco use.
Bad Breath is usually caused by the breakdown of proteins by bacteria somewhere in the mouth. Bad breath is not contagious, meaning you cannot catch it from someone else. Chronic bad breath, known as Halitosis, does not come from the stomach. The only odor that comes from the stomach is when you burp.
Food eaten such as garlic and spicy foods once absorbed into the body can release odor through the lungs when you breathe. Food odors are transitory and should not be confused with bad breath. Human’s sense of smell has the ability to adjust to odor. Therefore, most people with halitosis are not aware of their bad breath.
Prevention an Treatment of Bad Breath. Halitosis Cure.
- Visit your dentist at least every six months for cleanings and checkups to keep your mouth free of plaque buildup and other problems that may lead to bad breath.
- Watch your consumption of foods such as alcohol, coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated), dense proteins (such as those found in dairy and meat products), garlic and onions, and sugars. These are all bad-breath offenders.
- Try to breathe through your nose. Breathing through your mouth can lead to having a dry mouth, which creates a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.
- Keep a regular log of your eating habits and medications, as these can cause bad breath. Share the log with your dentist.
- Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day to remove food particles and plaque, and floss between teeth once a day, preferably in the evening after you eat.
- Try using a fluoride mouth rinse with antiseptic ingredients and a pleasant mint flavor. This helps to protect your teeth, and the flavor masks odor problems.
- Consider internal breath fresheners such as over-the-counter pills you take before or after a meal to aid the prevention of malodorous breath or go the natural route and munch on some parsley after a meal.
The Truth about Mouthwashes and Bad Breath
People often combat chronic bad breath using mouthwash as their weapon of choice. Ironically, most commercial mouthwashes are useless in eliminating chronic bad breath.
Recent studies have reported that mouthwashes only temporarily mask the odor of bad breath for as little as 10 minutes after brushing. In fact, because they contain alcohol, mouthwashes can actually make the situation worse by drying out the mouth creating a more hospitable environment for odor causing bacteria.
A new breed of mouthwashes containing chlorine dioxide, however, have proven very effective in combating bad breath. These mouthwashes do not mask bad breath odor like conventional mouth washes. Instead, the chlorine dioxide in these rinses directly attacks the volatile sulfur compounds responsible for bad breath (halitosis).
And also here are ten important things to realize about bad breath you should know.
- In most cases (about 90%), bad breath comes from the mouth itself.
- Despite public opinion, bad breath rarely comes from the stomach.
- Most people can smell other people’s breath, but have trouble smelling their own. So, if you think you have bad breath, you might or you might not. Bad taste is usually not a good indication. The best and simplest way to find out is to ask an adult in your family or a close friend.
- In the mouth, the most common source of bad breath is the very back of the tongue. Food debris, dead cells and postnasal drip can accumulate there, and the breakdown of the proteins by the resident bacteria causes foul odor. The second most important cause is bacteria breaking down protein between your teeth. By the way, the gases and other molecules that the bacteria produce are toxic and can harm your gums as well. Two good reasons to floss every day (if you don’t believe me, smell the floss)..
- Bad breath usually increases when the mouth is dry. Chewing sugarless gum for 4-5 minutes at a time can be helpful.
- The generalization that mouthwashes work for only a few minutes is wrong. Try gargling right before bedtime for best results. Some researchers recommend alcohol-free mouthrinses.
- Eating a hearty and healthy breakfast cleans the mouth and back of the tongue, gets the saliva flowing, and is probably good for you.
- Some people (maybe 5-7% of the population) have experienced small crumbly ‘stones’ in their mouths that have a foul smell. These are called “tonsillolith”. They are partially calcified, full of bacteria and develop in crypts in the tonsils. They smell pretty bad, but do not always cause bad breath (again, you have to ask someone). If you think you may have these, you can find the recommended course of action at www.tonsilstones.ca.
- In the large majority of cases, bad breath can be dramatically improved or eliminated.
- Children as young or two or three can have bad breath from postnasal drip, dental plaque and transient throat infections. However, if they develop sudden offensive odor that appears to come from all over their body, ask the physician to check whether they stuffed something up one of their nostrils.