Bad Breath - What's The Deal?

Personal space. It's the invisible bubble around you that creates a buffer between you and the person next to you. There's an unwritten rule about respecting that boundary. We guard it with authority and to invade it could mean repercussions! Who we chose to allow to break that barrier can depend on many factors. Should you be allowed to enter, there are several unwritten rules to respect. One of the most important is don't have bad breath.

Yet millions of people are guilty of this. The ADA estimates that over half of the population in the US alone suffer from bad breath to varying degrees. There are many factors that contribute to bad breath causes, and understanding them can help you to leave a positive impression rather than a negative one.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Not maintaining good oral hygiene will undoubtedly lead to bad breath issues. There are over 600 different types of bacteria that live in the average person's mouth. Under normal circumstances these micro organisms maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with us. They keep harmful bacteria from taking over. However, a side effect is that when left uncontrolled, they case bad breath. They feed on proteins in our mouth and release waste products in the form of sulfide compounds. These compounds have an odor like rotten eggs.

Brushing and flossing help to control both the bacteria as well as their food supply. They remove dead cells, left over food particles and excess bacteria from the mouth.

Diet

What we eat each day can directly affect how your breath smells. Foods such as onions, garlic, meat and eggs contain high amounts of volatile sulfur compounds. Similar to the compounds produced by bacteria, they also smell of rotten eggs. As food gets digested in the body, these compounds are released and absorbed into the blood and organs. Once in the lungs, they are emitted through the mouth as you breath.

Dehydration

A dry mouth is a smelly mouth. Saliva plays a crucial role in day to day regulation of bacteria. It acts as both an antiseptic as well as a means to wash away gunk. Lack of saliva deprives the body of this important component.

Medications

Many medications have the side effect of drying out the mouth. Again, lack of saliva will lead to increased bad breath.

Sugar

Sugar, especially the processed stuff causes a imbalance in the pH levels of the mouth. Under normal conditions the oral cavity has a balanced acidity level in which bacteria resides in a controlled manner. Any disruption in his harmony can cause them to grow more rapidly than normal. More bacteria will mean more sulfur compounds being produced. This in turn means greater bad breath.

Conclusion

Keeping this information in mind will hopefully allow you to better handle bad breath situations. Understanding what causes it can be important for controlling it.

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