Bad Breath, It Happens To The Best Of Us
So why do we get bad breath and how the heck can we get rid of it? These are two very common and very important questions that we have all had to ask ourselves at some time or another. The reason it is such an important thing to figure out is that it is so much a part of who we are. It affects our confidence with people and our reputation around people. Talking is such a part of our daily life and if we have bad breath we are either not talking for fear that someone will find out how nasty we are or we are embarrassing or offending those we are talking to. Bad breath is also not only offensive to others, it carries with it a taste that is offensive to the owner as well.
Now it is one thing to have bad breath once in a while or in the morning before we brush our teeth. This kind of problem is easily remedied with simple hygiene. But can you imagine (and some of you can) having bad breath chronically and so bad that simply brushing your teeth or avoiding spicy food at lunch is not enough. Well some people have to live with this nightmare called chronic halitosis.
So if you are one of these people you need to first know that there are very good remedies to most people’s cases of bad breath that are worse than normal. First you should go see your dentist which is pretty obvious. You see bad body odors in general are secondary to the growth of microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, etc.) that are producing noxious fumes as a byproduct of their metabolisms. It is always important to go and see that you don’t have a major infection that is causing the rotten (literally!) smell in your mouth.
Often however there isn’t a huge cavity or pharyngeal abscess to explain the terrible smells and because the etiology is less obvious the solution is less obvious as well. Killing the bacteria is still the name of the game though and it just because people with chronic bad breath were unlucky enough to have gotten a particularly smelly strain of bacteria.
How do you do this? Well in several ways. One is to brush your teeth more often like every time you have food. Another is to get in the habit of brushing your tongue. Another is to buy a good mouth wash that kills the bacteria. Then lastly and maybe not so obvious is eating yogurt. You see yogurt contains a bacteria that lives well in the body and is very benign in terms of bad effects. If you do these things you may just find that your bad breath takes a hike.
What Causes Bad Breath Anyway?
We have all suffered from an occasional case of bad breath. It’s estimated that 50 to 65 percent of the population suffer from bad breath. A few unfortunate people suffer from chronic bad breath, seeming never to get rid of the foul odor that escapes every time they open their mouth. But what is the main cause of bad breath?
Like all living organisms, we have a variety of other organisms that live in or on us in a constant balance of life. In case of bad breath, the main cause is the bacteria that normally occur within your mouth; or more specifically the waste products these bacteria produce from their normal biological life.
Life of Bacteria in Your Mouth
Your body is a host to billions of bacteria, and the majority of them are beneficial to you; there are bacteria in your stomach which aid food digestion, there are helpful bacteria on your skin which protect you against other harmful bacteria, and there are bacteria that just love the environment of your mouth. The last type is called anaerobic bacteria.
Anaerobic bacteria live best in conditions where there is no oxygen. There are plenty of places for anaerobic bacteria to live in your mouth; under the gum line, on the back of your tongue, between the teeth, and just about any place in your mouth that may be covered by a thin film. It is the waste products of the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath.
Again, a person’s mouth is home to hundreds of different species of bacteria. There is a constant battle going on in your mouth at all times. A battle for living space between that cause bad breath and those that don’t. The precise balance between these types of bacteria, determines the freshness of your breath.
How Do They Cause Bad Breath?
Through normal living process, these bacteria produce waste products in your mouth. The most common of these are volatile sulfur compounds with very unpleasant odor. These compounds are referred to as “volatile” because they readily evaporate when exposed to air under normal temperatures. This volatility of these compounds can offend those around you very quickly.
While these volatile sulfur compounds are principal factor of bad breath cause, the anaerobic bacteria produce numerous other compounds that also have such offensive odors. They include:
Cadaverine – creates the smell associated with corpses
Putrescine – causes the odor of decaying meat
Skatole – has the characteristic smell of human feces
Isovaleric Acid – produces the smell of sweaty feet
What Do Anaerobic Bacteria Eat?
The waste products mentioned above are produced as anaerobic bacteria digest proteins. Therefore, anytime you eat a source of protein, the bacteria in your mouth get a meal too.
Even without an obvious source of protein, the anaerobic bacteria in your mouth can find a protein source anytime. There are many natural protein sources in your mouth, from dead skin cells to proteins found in saliva.
While you can’t do anything about the fact that bacteria live in your mouth, it is important to realize that the disturbed balance between anaerobic bacteria and other types is a key factor in the cause of bad breath. You should do everything you can to make the conditions of your mouth as unattractive to anaerobic bacteria as possible.
Causes of Bad Breath
There are many myths and rumors about the causes of bad breath. From underlying medical conditions to teeth cavities to decaying food particles left in the mouth. Although all these can be considered as causes of bad breath, the real cause could be traced back to one single culprit – bacteria, or more precisely, the anaerobic sulfur producing bacteria that normally live in our mouths.
These bacteria make their homes in the surface of the tongue and in the throat where they are responsible for assisting us in digestion. They help by breaking down proteins found in certain specific foods, mucous or phlegm, blood, and in diseased or “broken down” oral tissue.
When certain conditions identified as the causes of bad breath are present, these bacteria break down proteins at a much higher rate than normal. This also means that they release higher levels of waste products than normal.
The proteins in foods contain two major amino acid components – cysteine and methionine. Both of these amino acids are dense with sulfur, an extremely odorous substance. When bacteria metabolizes proteins, these sulfur components of amino acids are released as Hydrogen Sulfide, Methyl Mercaptan, and other odorous bad tasting compounds. Together, these compounds which are the causes of bad breath are known as volatile sulfur compounds.
Now, one thing you should know about these bacterial causes of bad breath is that they are anaerobic, which literally means “without oxygen.” In other words, they thrive in places where the environment contains ZERO oxygen.
You might ask why bacteria that supposedly live without oxygen could survive in the mouth where oxygen can flow freely through. Well, for the simple reason that these bacteria are smart little critters. Smart in the sense that they don’t exactly expose themselves to the oxygen-rich parts of the mouth and instead choose to hide in places where oxygen couldn’t get to them.
And where are these places? The back of your tongue, under layers of plaque, beneath food debris, and other such convenient hiding places.
So if you are wondering why you still have bad breath even though you regularly scrape your tongue and use mouthwash, then wonder no more. These bacterial causes of bad breath don’t live on the surface of your tongue. Instead, they live in between the papillae located in the back of your tongue where oxygen couldn’t get to them.
In addition, mouthwash does not normally get rid of these bacterial causes of bad breath. And make no mistake that having these bacteria in your mouth is a normal occurrence. Everyone has some type of bacterial flora in the mouth, since, as already mentioned, these microorganisms actually help in digestion. They only become a problem when these bacteria go on overdrive and release more volatile sulfur compounds, causing bad breath to be expelled.
The Facts About Bad Breath
We have all had an experience where you have been required to speak to someone and you have been unable to concentrate on their response because of their bad breath. The medical term for this condition is known as halitosis and there can be a number of causes for it. However, the end result is always the same and it can be described as the presence of foul smelling gases in exhaled air.
So, what causes this to happen? Well, there are two main types of halitosis and one is easier to explain than the other. The first type is called transient bad breath and this can be caused as a result of a number of seemingly innocuous factors. Having a dry mouth, which can be due to thirst, stress or nerves, can cause bad breath as can certain food stuffs. Strong smelling food such as garlic, onion or other heavily spiced dishes can linger on the breath of the person who consumed it. Smoking is another factor which can cause bad breath and poor oral hygiene is a sure way to halitosis. Saliva is able to kill a certain degree of bacteria in the mouth but it does need to be helped by the use of toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash. The most common form of transient bad breath is commonly known as morning breath. This occurs as a result of your mouth remaining relatively still for a long period of time and so your saliva production is slowed drastically and the bacteria build up overnight. Brushing your teeth in the morning removes the bacteria and so removes the odour.
Chronic bad breath is a more serious condition and it is persistent and difficult to treat. It can affect up to 25% of the population and is caused as a result of certain types of bacteria being produced in excessive amounts. Treatment is not readily available and the clinics which are starting to appear tend to just be outlets for a bad breath product which claims to remedy the problem but which does not treat the cause. As such, these products are only temporary relievers of the problem and not a cure.
A third type of halitosis is recognised but it is a side effect of the more serious condition of chronic liver failure. This type of bad breath is known as fetor hepaticus and is described as smelling as foul as a freshly opened corpse.
For many, bad breath is seen as something comical and people who suffer from it are ridiculed and avoided. However, for the sufferers themselves it can cause real psychological difficulties. Many find it difficult to form relationships and even to speak to people as they are conscious of the odour. They can become very depressed and withdrawn.
For those whose bad breath is of the transient type, many things can be done to rid yourself of it. It is known that the majority of smells come from bacteria produced by food debris which is trapped in the mouth. Following a good oral hygiene routine, including brushing and flossing, will remove these pieces of food and so prevent the bacteria from building up. Using mint flavoured mouth washes, chewing gums and lozenges can mask the problem briefly but do not rid the cause permanently. However, if you are on the go they can be beneficial until you are able to clean your teeth thoroughly
Stop Bad Breath Without Gums, Mouthwashes or Drugs
One of the unfortunate things about bad breath is that we may not know we have bad breath until we speak. By this stage, we will have engaged in a social or business situation where we may cause people to recoil from us – even if subconsciously – at the very moment when we are trying to improve our relationship with them. If this group knows us well, this is less of a problem. Friends are more likely to be forgiving of the little things about us that perhaps jar them. But if we don’t know these people well, we may have just sullied the all important first impressions that are the crucial beginning of any relationship – social, intimate, or business.
Bad breath is undoubtably a problem – frustrating, and usually recurring. Perhaps it gets covered up by mints and candy, but there are situations when we cannot always be chewing on gum. Its unprofessional in a business meeting, impractical when we’re having lunch, and impossible when we’re intimate with someone.
Bad breath is caused by bacteria. More specifically, the volatile sulfur compounds that are the result of the breakdown of two sulfur containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine. These bacteria live in the mouth and throat, and because they are anaerobic bacteria, they do not live on the surface of the tongue. They actually exist in the fibers which the tongue is made up of.
The bad news is that you cannot get rid of these bacteria permanently, despite the promise of some bad breath treatments. And you actually wouldn’t want to, despite the inconvenience they cause when they are working overtime to produce bitter tasting and bad smelling metabolic byproducts. These bacteria are actually part of the digestive process, which begins in the mouth. You need them, and they need you!
There are things that make this normal aspect of digestion worse, however. Foods like dairy products and eating too much protein. That’s why one very common side effect of the high protein Atkins diet is bad breath. The proteins in these foods gives these bacteria more ‘fuel’ to create even more volatile sulfur compounds. They are just doing their job, with very unpleasant after effects. And coffee contains acids which allow the bacteria to multiply. So for the social situations where you want to minimize bad breath, its a simple thing to avoid these foods and drinks.
Tea, on the other hand, can stop the growth of these bacteria. Researchers in Chicago at the University of Illinois have found that the polyphenols in tea can not only reduce the output of the volatile sulfur compounds by 30%, but they make it harder for the bacteria to multiply. The polyphenols active in this bad breath remedy are catechins and theaflavins. Catchetins are found in both green and black tea, and theaflavins are only found in black tea. So a strategy to prevent bad breath might be to avoid the alcohol at important lunches and dinners, and drink black tea instead! Alcohol, because it dries your mouth out, will aggravate bad breath.
Bad Breath Remedies without Overspending
Have you been fed up of the embarrassing experiences that you’ve been through because of bad breath? Surely, you just want your confidence back and smile without thinking that someone might again butt in and tell you that your breath smells bad. Well, you don’t have to worry that much since there are now lots of ways on how to get rid of bad breath; thanks to the sciences. Different bad breath remedies are also available. These are treatment that you can do at home and which will not need you to spend much.
So what are the bad breath remedies that you can do at home? Here are some of them:
1.) Drink lots and lots of water
• According to some experts, drinking lots of all through the day will help you minimize your bad breath problem. This is especially important for people who suffer from excessively dry mouths.
In order to wash out the foods in our mouth, saliva is needed. It serves as a diluting agent for the bacteria and its waste product it produce. Thus, we need our body to produce more saliva. But, if we are dehydrated, there is a tendency that the body will reduce the saliva it produces. And when there is not enough saliva produced, you’re at a great risk to have bad breath.
2.) Rinse the mouth
• Just by rinsing your mouth every once in a while, you can be sure that no food particle is left in your mouth and gum line. Bacterial waste products will also be diluted by rinsing; thus, reducing or eliminating the cause of bad breath.
3.) Stimulate saliva flow
• By stimulating the saliva flow in your body, you are assured of minimizing unpleasant breath odor. So how can you stimulate saliva flow? The trick is to chew something when you feel that your mouth is becoming dry. This action will make your body think that you are eating and thus will produce more saliva for digestion.
You can chew parsley or some mint. Or you can choose to chew some gums or lozenges; just make sure that you get something that’s sugar-free.
4.) Clean the mouth properly
• After eating, it is important to clean your mouth thoroughly. And since anaerobic bacteria tend to thrive on protein-rich food, it is more important to clean your mouth properly after eating meat, fish, poultry and other foods with high protein content.
How will you clean your mouth? Here are some tips:
• Brush and floss daily – actually, most expert advice that you should brush your teeth 2-3 times a day and floss at least twice.
• Scrape your tongue using a tongue scraper to make sure that the bacteria sticking on and under it will be eliminated
• Make sure that you do not use any oral hygiene products that contain sodium lauryl sulphate or alcohol.
• Using of products that contain zinc compounds and/or chlorine dioxide is also a great way to clean the mouth.
Now that you know the different bad breath remedies that you can follow without having to spend up all your savings, you’ll no longer have to worry about having bad breaths. But, you know, it is still better to prevent bad breath than curing it. And one way to avoid it is by not eating too much food that has strong odors like onion and garlic. And of course, visiting your dentist at least twice a year is the best way to have fresh breath and stronger teeth.
Bad Breath Cause
For most people, the single most frequent bad breath cause is the bacteria that live in the mouth. There are over 170 different types of these bacteria in your mouth and most of them are anaerobic. This means that they cannot live in oxygen-rich atmospheres.
So how do these anaerobic bacteria manage to survive in the mouth where oxygen flows in freely? Simple. These bacteria hide in places where oxygen can’t get to them – in the back of the tongue, behind plaques, and burrowing under leftover particles of food.
Like any normal living organism, the bacteria found in the mouth spend most of their lives consuming food and excreting waste. They feed on food debris left in our mouth after a meal, and in the process of metabolizing these foods, they release waste compounds that are one of the bad breath causes.
Have you ever smelled a rotten egg? It’s not a very pleasant smell, is it? Well, the stench associated with rotten eggs is actually caused by the sulfur compound called hydrogen sulfide. Methyl mercaptan, another sulfur compound, is likewise the cause of that stinky smell emanating from feed lots and barnyards. Also, the odor you usually associate with the ocean is in part due to the presence of dimethyl sulfide, yet another sulfur compounds.
All these sulfur compounds are released by bacteria in the mouth when they consume food. Together, they are called volatile sulfur compounds – “volatile” because they evaporate easily, even in normal temperatures. Presence, therefore, of these volatile sulfur compounds are the leading bad breath causes in people.
But in addition to volatile sulfur compounds, there are also other bad breath causes. That is, the bacteria in the mouth also produce other waste products other than sulfur compounds that have their own unpleasant odors. These alternative bad breath causes include:
* Isovaleric acid
Do not think that anyone is immune to these bad breath causes. After all, the bacteria that produce these compounds exist in every person’s mouth so no one is exempted. Every one of us has these bad breath causes or agents present in the mouth although in relatively low levels so they are not otherwise detected. Only when the presence of these compounds becomes so high do we begin to detect bad breath.
Bad dental hygiene can also be a bad breath cause. When you don’t brush your teeth after meals, you allow food debris and plaque to build up in your mouth. As mentioned, these plaques and foods are rich breeding grounds for anaerobic bacteria since they contain little oxygen. So the more plaques you have, the more breeding grounds you are providing for the bacteria to proliferate.
Gee, You Have Foul Breath
Everyone has their fair share of mouth odor when they wake up in the morning. This can usually be eliminated through brushing or gargling. There are some people though, who may need more than just brushing to get rid of the odor. Bad breath, also known as halitosis in medical terms, can be a big problem. The smell stems from the mouth, tongue and tonsils due to the growth of bacteria and the waste it produces. There can be different causes for the growth of bacteria in the mouth and bad breath.
Poor oral hygiene. As stated earlier, bacteria are the main culprit in bad breath. The more bacteria there are, the worse the problem is. The bacteria coat the mouth, tongue and teeth mixing with saliva and food particles left behind. They then breakdown these down and release a foul smelling gas that causes bad breath. One of the best ways to ensure that the mouth stays germ free is by keeping it clean. Brushing and flossing regularly will keep both bacteria and food particles away from the mouth.
Dry mouth. Also known as xerostomia, this condition has the mouth producing less saliva causing it to dry up. Various reasons can cause this, such as medications and the weather. The lack of saliva induces the growth of bacteria since it does not get flushed out. Saliva acts as a natural mouth cleanser by neutralizing the acids and washing away dead cells and bacteria that get left behind on the tongue. When these acids and dead cells are not removed, they can decompose and bring a bad smell. Bacteria on the other hand, tend to multiply when not washed out. Keeping the mouth moist by chewing sugar free gum may help it from drying out.
Your diet and eating habits. The food that people eat can also have a role in bad breath. Certain foods may have strong smells that can be left in the mouth and throat. Brushing or gargling only masks these smells. Aside from this, the food byproducts also enter the blood stream and bad smell can be emitted through the lings. These foul odors only become eliminated once the food has been passed out of the body. Aside from this, unhealthy habits such as smoking may also cause bad breath. Aside from the odor it leaves it can also dry out the mouth. Choosing food intake and eliminating smoking may help reduce bad breath.
Illnesses. Certain diseases have been linked to bad breath. In some cases a foul odor in the mouth can simply be a sign of a more serious problem. Food reflux and gastritis can both cause the mouth to emit bad smells. Diabetes, respiratory illnesses (pneumonia, bronchitis and the like), liver problems, kidney problems and post nasal drip are some other illnesses related to bad breath. In some cases the disease may be in the mouth itself. Gum diseases and yeast infections inside the mouth may also lead to bad breath.
Low-carb diets. When the body does not receive enough carbohydrates it tends to breakdown stored body fats for energy. The result is a condition called ketosis. As the system breaks down the fat a chemical known as ketones is produced. The foul smelling chemicals are then expelled out of the body through breathing causing bad breath.
How to Get Rid Of Bad Breath
If you notice people generally avoiding you whenever you are around, then it is high time that you assess yourself and find out what is wrong about you? Have you been aware about your breath? Maybe you got bad breath that’s why they never get physically close when people talk with you. Bad breath, medically called as halitosis, can significantly affect your social life, so don’t allow it to become a hindrance to you.
If your bad breath is causing you embarrassment already, it is not going to do you good in any aspect. Psychologically and emotionally, it’s bound to disturb you until you lose your confidence. That is going to be very bad since a person with less confidence seldom succeeds and gets happy in life. So before all these terrible things happen to you, be sure to check on some of the ways on how to get rid of bad breath:
1.) Before anything else, you should the right thing by consulting your dentist or physician. Bad breath is usually developed when one indulges in poor hygiene habit; however, there are more cases wherein the condition is the result of some medical conditions. Therefore, checking with your physician will help you to assess what is the cause of your halitosis.
2.) Stick to your proper dental hygiene everyday. Brushing every after meal helps take away food and drink debris, which turn into bacteria inside the mouth causing bad breath to occur. Most dental hygienists recommend brushing in the morning and at night before retiring but some prefer to do it every after meal to stop any chances for the debris to turn into bacteria.
3.) Floss at least at night. Brushing alone does not completely remove all debris in the mouth. Flossing removes food particles stuck in between teeth; thus, inhibiting them from growing into germs.
4.) Brush tongue too. Experts say that most of the germs convene on the tongue. That is the reason why it is as much important scraping your tongue off with dirt as brushing teeth. There are tongue scrapers available in store, but you can use your toothbrush as well.
5.)Use mouth wash. There are anti-bacterial mouth wash available in stores. You can use it as after-brushing rinse to completely clean your whole mouth. Brushing and flossing are good for removing food particles in between teeth, but they don’t clean the other parts of the mouth. Most use mouth wash not only to kill bacteria in the mouth but also for that lingering fresh smell.
However, if bad breath still persists only after a brief time, there is really something wrong. Once again, checking your dentist or physician is the best thing to do.
6.) Don’t smoke. Needless to say, smoking tobacco or cigar is one of the biggest contributory factors to bad breath. It does not only make your breath smell foul but also ruins your teeth.
7.) Drink and drink water. Doing this does a lot of benefits to your body. That is already a fact. Don’t you know that it can prevent bad breath too? That’s because by keeping your mouth moist with water, it inhibits it from becoming dry; hence, keeping those germs away.
If you practice these things, bad breath will never be an issue hampering your social life. But remember that these things listed above are meant for those who have simple cases of bad breath. Chronic ones must be treated according to the recommendation of the medical experts as they can be more serious than expected.
Foods To Avoid That Cause Bad Breath
Did you know that there are specific foods that may lead to bad breath? This is because of volatile sulfur compounds – the culprit in causing bad breath!
For example, if food sits out too long it will spoil. That spoiling action is due to anaerobic bacteria breaking down proteins in that particular food. In milk, the odor of sour milk is caused by relatives of the bugs that create bad breath when they break down proteins in the milk (and basically in all dairy foods). A reaction takes place where ‘the bad breath bugs’ extract sulfur compounds from the amino acids in these proteins. Specifically, the amino acid Cysteine is converted to Hydrogen Sulfide (which has a rotten egg smell) and Methionine becomes Methyl Mercaptan (which smells like a cross between old socks and garlic). The same analogy applies to meat if it sits out too long.
Everyone knows that onions and garlic will create bad breath. But do you know why? It’s because the odorous molecules in onions and garlic are actually sulfur compounds themselves called Mercaptans. Sulfur is nature’s way of creating odors. You’re all familiar with the skunk. Its odor is created by a defense and/or attack mechanism. Skunk odor is made up of skatoles, which are naturally occurring sulfur compounds. In a similar fashion, bacteria in your mouth creates the volatile sulfur compounds of bad breath and taste disorders.
There are 4 food categories that will result in an increase of sulfur production because these categories have a stimulating affect on the bacteria that cause bad breath:
Dense Protein Foods
Let’s look closely at each of these food categories and how they stimulate bad breath!
The most common drying agent in food is alcohol. Alcohol of course, is the basis of all “adult” beverages such as beer, wine, and hard liquor. It is also used, unfortunately, in many mouthwashes you find in the grocery stores, which only makes a bad breath problem worse.
Alcohol, known chemically as a desiccant, is used quite often in laboratories to “dry out” hard to reach areas in test tubes and beakers. The same end result takes place in the oral cavity.
Although cigarettes are not really food, smoking is probably the quickest way to dry out your mouth, with alcohol being the second. If you smoke, you are bound to have bad breath!
DENSE PROTEIN FOODS
Dairy foods are notorious for creating bad breath. An article that appeared in the “Los Angeles Times” once noted that over 50% of the population in Southern California was “lactose intolerant”. With regards to bad breath, many of these people (numbering in the tens of millions) end up with more dense proteins available as bad breath fuel for the bacteria than those who have no problem with dairy foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc. The end result is a buildup of amino acids, which are easily converted into volatile sulfur compounds by the anaerobic bacteria found within the surface of your tongue and throat.
To a lesser extent, people have the same problem with other types of food that are considered to be dense in protein such as beef, chicken, and fish.
Another problem, thankfully rare, has to do with people who have an inability to break down certain proteins found in beans. This condition is called TMA (Trimethylaminuria) and is sometimes known as the “Fish Odor Syndrome,” because the odor produced is similar to decaying fish. The odor consists of sulfur compounds, plus nitrogen compounds (amines). People with this condition must abstain from beans and other types of food that are dense in protein.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could get rid of bad breath by chewing on M&Ms? Or what if the cure for bad breath were Hershey Kisses?
That’s what the makers of Altoids would have you believe. Altoids, and other products of the same ilk, are trying to fool the public into believing that a strong “good” taste in your mouth is equivalent to the “freshness” of your breath. This is so anti-scientific it’s absurd! If you think about it for a minute, it really doesn’t make any sense.
By using concentrated mint flavorings, your taste buds pick up mint as a taste. However, Altoids contains two types of sugar which again, are a fuel for the bacteria to reproduce and create more sulfur compounds – thus bad breath. In addition, the frightening part is that other bacteria can take the sugars and produce glycan strands, which in turn end up causing thick layers of plaque on the enamel of your teeth and around your gums. This leads to tooth decay and gum disease – and you guessed it – worse breath than you started with!
Since you can’t smell your own breath, you just go merrily along with that great strong mint taste in your mouth, while others close to you are backing away – backing away from your increased bad breath, decayed teeth, and gross, swollen, bleeding gums!
Stay away from candies, mints, and chewing gum if they contain sugar! Instead, let me recommend an alternative created by TheraBreath called the TheraBreath Oxygenating Chewing Gum (www.therabreath.com/products.asp?CAT=5). It releases Oxygen molecules directly into your mouth and also contains the antibacterial agent, Zinc Gluconate. This agent is found in many cold medications. In addition it contains Xylitol, which is a natural sweetening agent with an anti-decay compound.
Foods with a high acidic content are a problem as well. pH is a term used to describe the acidity of an environment. The oral cavity has a normal pH of 6.5 (7 is considered neutral). Some of the foods you should watch out for are coffee and many citrus juices. Both decaffeinated and regular coffee contain acids. However, tea is okay. Among the citrus juices the ones with the highest acidic content include tomato juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grapefruit juice.
We know that acids make the bacteria reproduce much faster. In order to decrease the production of odorous sulfur compounds, the acid environment needs to be neutralized.
What can you learn from all this? Avoiding foods that contribute to, if not cause, bad breath is vital if you want to have clean fresh breath. While this is a difficult task, being aware of these bad breath causing elements is the first step in developing confidence in your breath. In addition, it is important to use oral care products that are free of alcohol, sugar, and that also have a high pH level.