What you need to know about bad breath

You’ve brushed, flossed and swooshed with mouthwash. Got on your best clothes and shoes, ready for that business meeting or exciting outing with your friends.

STOP! Hold everything…, “Do you have bad breath?”

Blowing into your own hand may not tell you-our bodies get used to our own odors. But eventually, someone will notice you’ve got bad breath. A friend may not say something to you, but if they step away from you when you begin to speak, it’s a clue and something you shouldn’t ignore.

Bad breath(Halitosis), is an embarrassing health condition that affects approximately 85% of people around the world. The foul oral odor is usually caused by a group of anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria that breed beneath the surface of the tongue and often in the throat and tonsil area. The term “anaerobic” literally means living without oxygen, and in fact, these bacteria do not require oxygen to live. They occur naturally in the oral environment and are essential because they assist in digestion by breaking down proteins into amino acids. Proteins are commonly found in food, mucus or phlegm, blood, and in diseased oral tissue.

Having bad breath does NOT automatically mean that the person doesn’t brush their teeth or have bad dental hygiene. You can brush your teeth and scrape your tongue and rinse with mouthwash and still have bad breath if you don’t use them well. Some people might not even know that they have bad breath. In fact, our bodies are designed in such a way that we can t smell our own odors. Think about when you buy a new perfume or cologne. You can smell it the first few days because you aren’t used to it yet. But a few days go by and you are still putting it on each day, and you don t even notice it anymore. It is a human process called acclimation, which is necessary so that we can smell other things besides ourselves.

Bad breath can have a huge impact on your self confidence. It can be devastating to feel rejection simply due to your bad breath. It is something no one ever wants to ever suffer. Bad breath can be about much more than simply eating the wrong foods. Although foods such as garlic, onions, coffee, soft cheeses, and fish can certainly contribute to breath odor, constant and consistent bad breath is likely a signal of a more significant oral health problem. But the good news is there is a way to eliminate bad breath by simply addressing the root cause.

I will be addressing the causes of bad breath on my next series, but till then keep your breath fresh.

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