Bad breath can silently damage a career, especially if your work puts you in close contact with the public, other employees, or your boss. Bad breath can also be the kiss of death to a romantic relationship, but who is going to tell you?
Bad breath may be an embarrassing and damaging inconvenience, but it is really a signal that you have an unhealthy mouth and potentially other health issues. Dental books state that 20 % of the population suffers from bad breath “halitosis” and that this should not be confused with coffee breath or smells from garlic-laden foods.
Halitosis odor comes from a group of smelly bacteria that grow on the back and top part of your tongue. Today there are devices to sample a patient’s breath with a chemical sensor or a syringe that captures air from inside the mouth.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Most people accept “morning breath” as a normal condition, but it is totally avoidable. During the night, we have less saliva, which leaves the mouth easily colonized (taken over) by harmful bacteria. Smoking, medications, and sleeping with your mouth open, can make your mouth drier, and acid reflux promotes very damaging conditions. It is essential to prepare your mouth last thing at night, to lessen the danger while you sleep. Eating or drinking in bed is inviting a problem, and if you need medications – try to take them before cleaning your teeth at night.
New testing shows that people with halitosis have specific kinds of bacteria on their tongue, kinds not found in the mouths of people with sweet breath. Not only are these people infected with bad bacteria, but they lack important bacteria, always found in healthy mouths. This means that the solution to bad breath can never be focused on “cleaning ” but the solution must promote healthy bacteria and balance mouth ecology at the same time. Most of all, the solution must be sustainable – and something that promotes mouth health, year after year.
One important study showed that patients with halitosis were all infected with a species of S.moorei, a bacterium originally isolated from human feces. This alerts us to keep toothbrushes far from toilet areas and disinfect them daily. Throw your toothbrush away if you travel or and be aware of storing a brush in a bag or under a cover. (Learn more about toothbrushes HERE)
Another thing to consider is a nasal discharge known as postnasal drip. The nose can be a source of bad bacteria and contribute to your problems, so consider a xylitol nasal spray. Two puffs several times each day, and always before bed at night.
What Makes Bad Breath Worse?
Never use bicarbonate of soda, hydrogen peroxide, or disinfecting rinses like chlorhexidine. Strong cleaners can unbalance the mouth’s delicate ecosystem, wiping out all bacteria for a time, which allows worse kinds to grow back. A poor diet, unhealthy drinking, medications and lack of sleep, influence the kind of bacteria that live in your mouth and can make it harder to promote good ones.
Years ago women put perfume in their mouths, but the alcohol in it dried the mouth and made conditions worse. Today Listerine is just as bad, and should never be used alone to combat bad breath. (Listerine is safe when used as part of the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System as suggested).
Solutions for Bad Breath
Get started with the entire Zellies Complete Mouth Care System and say goodbye to bad breath! Here are a few extra things you can do:
- Take a probiotic every day – at least until your breath is sweet again
- Try to eat a better/healthier diet (an anti-inflammatory diet is best)
- Keep drinks to mealtimes (unless you are drinking water with xylitol in it)
- Finish every meal, snack or drink with a piece of Zellies 100% Xylitol Gum or Mint.
- Change your toothbrush every month
- Disinfect your toothbrush in Listerine each day, rinse out and store it so that it dries between uses and at least 10 feet from a toilet
Don’t try to mask your breath with regular “breath mints” because the sugars and artificial sweeteners in them will only make things worse. The xylitol in Zellies 100% Xylitol Gum or Mints will balance your mouth health, and help to eliminate harmful germs while helping to promote good ones.
- Visit a dentist for a full mouth X ray to ensure you don’t have a dead tooth or some periodontal condition that needs surgical intervention.
- Ask your physician to assess you for diabetes, renal health problems or other systemic conditions.
For more information, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more
Zellies.com – learn more & order your Zellies Xylitol & the Complete Mouth Care System
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
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