some point in their lives, although you can expect that not
many will readily admit it. Bad breath, also known as
halitosis, is actually a very common condition that may
result from several possible causes, including inadequate
dental hygiene, tooth cavities, gingivitis or smoking.
There are more than 400 different types of bacteria in our
mouth which cause bad breath. These bacteria in the mouth
release sulfur odors. Bad breath is stimulated by volatile
sulfur compounds (vsc), which are released by the break down
of proteins by the bacteria. Most of the odor is brought
about by anaerobic bacteria, which grow on the back of the
tongue. The beneficial effect of anaerobic bacteria is that
they aid in digestion by breaking down proteins. People
suffering from bad breath due to oral causes, are found to
have abnormally high amounts of anaerobic bacteria in the
Besides these bacteria, other sources of foul odor in the
mouth are the leftover food particles themselves. If you
don't clean your mouth properly, bits of food will be left
stuck in the crevices of your mouth and will eventually rot.
Also, regular consumption of spicy foods such as garlic, and
sulfur-rich foods like onion and cabbage, can lead to the
onset of halitosis as well. When ingested, the chemicals in
these foods are mixed into the bloodstream and eventually
released in the person's breath.
A very easy and effective tip in getting rid of bad breath
is to simply brush your teeth after each meal. While eating,
it is inevitable that some food bits will get stuck in
between our teeth or gums. If not removed immediately, these
will attract the smelly bacteria that cause bad breath. The
action of brushing will remove these food particles and
prevent bacteria from building up. You should brush your
teeth after every meal if possible, especially if you eat
foods that are rich in sugar or protein. Another tip to
avoid bad breath is to make sure that you brush the surface
of your tongue as well, especially the rear portion. People
usually neglect to clean that back area of the tongue,
turning it into a very good breeding ground for the bacteria
that you certainly don't want in your mouth.
If you go to your local pharmacy, you can ask for a tongue
cleaner that you can use to scrub the back of your tongue.
However, you can also use an inverted teaspoon for this.
Simply hold the teaspoon with the hollow part facing down
and gently scrape the furthest part of the tongue. Some
people even use their toothbrushes for this.
Another useful tip for the prevention of bad breath is to
always keep your mouth moist. Oral bacteria thrive when the
mouth dries up and there is insufficient moisture. Saliva is
actually very good in preventing the growth of these
bacteria because it has natural antibacterial properties
that can kill these microorganisms. Chewing sugar-free gum
can help here because it stimulates the flow of saliva in
the mouth. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day is
also good in maintaining adequate moisture in the mouth
throughout the day.
Baking soda is a great aid in the fight against halitosis.
Although beneficial, some may feel the taste leaves
something to be desired. However, the end result is worth
the effort. If you do not prefer to dip your toothbrush in
the baking soda box, there are several brands of toothpaste
on the market now that contain baking soda.
Hydrogen Peroxide is an effective rinse because it adds
oxygen to the bacteria that thrive in an environment where
little to no oxygen exists, thus effectively killing the
anaerobic bacteria. Although if you do not have this handy
using plain water will also help loosen up the foods and
particles that have become lodged between the teeth and gums.
Adding lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet helps to kill the
bacteria because they are high in acids and fiber as opposed to
proteins and sugar.
So if you don't want to scare off people with your bad breath,
maintaining oral hygiene should be just as important as any
other aspect of your health. Try these simple tips and maybe
you'll get that kiss the next time!