Getting the Nitty Gritty on Bad Breath

Anaerobic Sulfur Producing Bacteria are the bad guys when it comes to understanding what causes your bad breath. These bacteria live on the surface of your tongue, in your throat and on the surfaces of your teeth and in-between your teeth. These bacteria are not all bad because they actually are suppose to be in your mouth. You see they have a role to play in your mouth. The bacteria aids in digestion by breaking down proteins that can be found in the foods we eat and also in the mucous, blood, and other oral tissue in our mouth. The odor comes into play when the bacteria come into contact with Amino Acids called Cysteine and Methionine, which contain sulfur. This sulfur is released when the bacteria comes into contact with the Amino Acids.

You cannot catch bad breath from someone you are talking to. You can’t even catch bad breath from someone who has bad breath that you are kissing. Everyone already has the same type of bacteria in their mouth as you do. You can’t even if you tried to, remove these bacteria that causes bad breath, from your mouth. Any product that says it gets rid of bad breath can only succeed (if at all) temporarily. Most bad breath products only mask the odor and do not get rid of the cause of the bad breath.

There is no good reason (as yet discovered) as to why bacteria that everyone has would in only some individual’s cause bad breath. There are plenty of theories as to why some get bad breath and others do not including theories that involve family history, an imbalance of oral bacteria, and use of antibiotics or sulfa drugs.

Despite the fact that it is uncertain as to the exact cause of bad breath we do know that there are some conditions that worsen bad breath such as dry mouth, post-nasal drip, infections of the lungs and sinus, and high-protein foods. When individuals have these conditions they increase the possibility that they will have bad breath.

Most of us have no clue that we have bad breath until someone clues us in on the unfortunate circumstances. Once we know of the bad breath we then try to do everyone we know to clear it up such as brushing our teeth, scraping our tongue, using mouthwash, and taking breath mints. Usually all we can do is our best to control the odor and try to isolate the reason for the bad breath.

Your dentist or dental hygienist can give you lots of good information about how to care for your teeth and gums so that you can avoid dental problems that may contribute to bad breath like impacted or infected teeth, poor dental habits or eating foul-smelling food.