Bad Breath; Who, Me?

Do you know if you have bad breath? Known in dentistry circles as halitosis, bad breath is a condition that seems to universally affect every person with a mouth at one point or another. Interestingly, the affected individual is the last person to know if they have bad breath and even the little self tests – you may have heard about licking the inside of your wrist and waiting for the spittle to dry before sniffing – provide precious little insight. After all, how would you know if it is not your wrist that had an objectionable smell?

This has led to a social fear of suffering from bad breath, and the sheer volume of available breath mints, fresh breath strips, and folk remedies that are supposed to sweeten the breath in between brushings all attest to the attention that is being paid to this condition. It is usually a third party that points out the offensive breath, and in some cases this leads to a degree of mortification that leaves the sufferer of the social malady looking for the latest and greatest in breath-freshening devices. It is sad that it does not inspire the need to go straight to the source of the issue.

Bad breath is sometimes tied to the foods you are eating. You know that eating garlic, onions, and also some spiced meats will give you bad breath. The same is true for drinking alcohol or coffee. This is a temporary situation brought on simply by the chemical compounds in the food and it will wane shortly. On the other hand, the bad breath brought on by bacterial action in the mouth is much more common. As such, it is the bacterial waste – sulfuric compounds – that cause the malodorous whiffs emanating from your mouth.

Bacteria naturally live in the mouth and actually assist with the digestion process. It is the unfettered growth of the bacterial populations that leads to an increase in the sulfuric emissions which is credited with the smelly breath. In addition to the foregoing, the digestion of meat adds to the strength of the sulfuric smells. In between tooth brushings, the bacteria congregate at the gum line, in between the teeth, on the tongue, and in the cheeks. In short, they are found on any of the tissues within the mouth.

As food particles of minute proportions continue to stay in the mouth, the bacteria continue to digest the substances and of course create the smelly emissions. If you work late nights, have many social outings, and eat throughout the day without brushing after meals, the odds are good that you are suffering from bad breath. The strength of the smell varies, depending on other contributory factors, but there is the bottom line possibility of the halitosis that has put fear in the minds of business people whose main stock in trade is a favorable first impression.

Even as breath mints and breath strips will only mask the problems temporarily, there are some steps to take that can greatly decrease the odds and severity of bad breath.