Embarrassing Bad Breath

By: Ruth Walby

Embarrassing moments in your life usually happen when you can't do anything about them.

You're in a group-either business or social-when some well-meaning person leans in closely and whispers in your ear, "You need to do something about your bad breath!"

Everyone has bad breath every day but to different degrees. We rise in the morning with morning breath, brush and then our breath becomes stale throughout the day if we don't get a chance to brush again. It's a problem we all share as human beings (yes, Brad, Angelina and even the Queen of England). It's so embarrassing that most people hate to even talk about it. Can you imagine having to tell the Queen she needs a Tic Tac?

If you've tried to smell your own breath by breathing into your hand and then quickly sniffing, you won't be able to smell your breath that way. You could have the title of Mrs. Stinky Breath of the Year securely in your hand and probably never realize it.

How are you to know when your breath smells foul or skunky? (I apologize for this pun in advance.) There are two easy tests you can do to find out quickly:

1. Lick your wrist, or if you wear perfume on your wrist, lick the back of your clean hand instead. Wait a few seconds for the saliva to dry and then sniff. What you smell is what other people smell when you speak.

2. Take a teaspoon, turn it over so that the hollow side points toward your tongue and then gently scrape the back of your tongue. If you withdraw the spoon and see a white coating, you know you just scraped off a bunch of bacteria. Put the scraping on the back of your hand or your wrist and sniff. What you smell now is what other people smell when you exhale.

According to the most current research, over 90 percent of all cases of bad breath originate in the mouth, NOT in the stomach, sinuses, or lungs as most people think. About 95% of all bad breath cases are caused by millions of bacteria that naturally exist in your mouth. They produce a foul-smelling gas--caused by Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs). One compound is hydrogen sulfide (the rotten egg smell) and another is methyl mercaptan (the essence of skunk oil). That's BAD BREATH! (And I did apologize earlier for the puns.)

WHAT CAN YOU USE?

Gums, Mints, Breath Sprays and Breath Strips: these all give a refreshing burst of freshness and flavor to the mouth when you feel you need it but don't really do much for bad breath long term. They mask the bad breath only for a short time.

Brushing and Flossing: both highly effective and healthy for all of us and will leave you with a refreshed mouth. Unfortunately, the effects don't last overnight to provide long-term fresh breath.

Tongue Cleaners: very healthy to use just like the above technique. Most germs are found on the back 1/3 of the tongue. Tongue cleaners are good to use for health reasons but the effects don't last.

Mouthwashes: have been around for over 100 years. They can be good for eliminating germs and bacteria in the mouth and on the gums plus rinsing the teeth to remove food particles. They only provide short-term results.

The problem with mouthwashes is that their effectiveness can be placed into groups.

GROUP 1: These were developed as germ killers. Of course, we've all heard about that product that "kills the germs that cause bad breath." This type of mouthwash does kill some of the germs but not all. The germs reproduce quickly so they continue to produce those foul-smelling bad breath gases. Germ killers do not eliminate bad breath but cover it up with short-term effectiveness.

GROUP 2: This group is odor eliminators, mostly oxidizers. They do eliminate bad breath when used to rinse out the mouth. But they don't do anything to the germs to stop them from producing new germ causing gases so their effectiveness for working is even shorter term than GROUP 1.

HOW CAN YOU GET RID OF BAD BREATH?

Now that you know you have bad breath, you probably want to know how to get rid of it. The most effective way is to do just what your Mother always told you to do.

Brush and floss your teeth twice a day! Brush your tongue, too. If you wear dentures, be sure to remove them at night and clean thoroughly before placing them back in your mouth the next morning. Gargle with a germ killing mouthwash to slow the reproduction of bacteria in the mouth and on the tongue. Have regular checkups to allow your dentist to find any problems in advance like periodontal (gum) disease, dry mouth or other disorders that may be the cause of your bad breath. This is a critical step to maintaining a healthy mouth and body.

Following these tips will leave you with pleasant smelling breath plus it never hurts to be ready with kissable breath in case you run into Brad, Angelina or even the Queen.

Ruth Walby

Dental Surgery
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Dental Surgery