If unattended and ignored, having bad breath can damage your personal and professional image – especially if you are an outgoing person whose work requires you to be in close contact with other people. Furthermore, it can be the fire that ends the bridge between you and a potential partner. But we don’t really like being upfront to others if they do have the condition – so, how do we know if have it?
An unhealthy mouth taken care of with mediocre dental habits will usually manifest itself through bad breath. According to dental books, 20% of the population has halitosis – the technical name for bad breath, and this is very much different from breath that smells like garlic or coffee.
The odor of halitosis comes from a bunch of odor-emitting bacteria that are found at the top part, and on the back of the tongue. Nowadays, dentists have devices that can sample a patient’s breath to capture the air within the mouth.
How does bad breath happen?
Many of us choose to accept morning breath as something that is normal. However, it is completely preventable. At night, our mouth produces less saliva, leaving the mouth habitable for harmful bacteria. Activities such as smoking, sleeping with the mouth open, as well as medications can make the mouth dry, while acid reflux also puts our mouths open to bacteria attack. Hence, by preparing our mouths before we sleep, we can wake up with not so unpleasant morning breath. If we eat and drink right before bedtime, then we are making our mouths acidic and prone to bad breath.
According to new studies, halitosis is caused by a specific type of bacteria, which are not the ones found with those with sweet breath. Not only do the ones with bad breath have odor-emitting bacteria, but they also lack the good bacteria that could have otherwise prevented the situation. Hence, cleaning through brushing and flossing is not the lone solution – we need to promote healthy bacteria ecology within the mouth as well.
Another important study finds that patients who suffered from halitosis all tested positive for a bacteria named S. moorei, which was originally found from human feces. Hence, this means that we need to keep our toothbrushes away from the toilet, and disinfect them before every use.
Dentists however suggest against strong cleaners such as baking soda or hydrogen peroxide to try and eradicate bad breath. While these products are effective in removing bacteria – you may be doing more harm than good because they remove ALL bacteria – even the good ones that are supposed to help your oral health as a whole.
So, what are the solutions to help against bad breath? For one, taking a probiotic on a daily basis can help promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the mouth. Furthermore, consider changing your diet – have a healthier one that is consist of vegetables and food that does not cause inflammation. Also, take xylitol as it is proven in eliminating odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your oral health, contact A Beautiful Smile today to set an appointment with our dentists.