Bad breath is certainly one of life’s annoyances. No one wants to offend someone with their breath, and we all highly dislike the smell of someone talking to us with the smell of garlic, onions, or coffee rolling through the air.
We know bad breath is a scourge, but what actually causes it? According to Bob Kross, a biochemist studying oral care and quoted in the Daily Ardmoreite, “At least 90 percent of bad breath problems are associated with the sulfurous compounds generated by the putrefying, malodor-forming, anaerobic bacteria, which hide in oral crevices, and which degrade food particles and salivary cell fragments.”
Since bad breath, or halitosis, is caused when strong smelling foods pass through the lungs and then through the air, the presence of halitosis is impossible to eradicate. However, there are some ways that we can reduce the offensiveness of our breath:
1. Reduce sugary foods that attract the anaerobic bacteria that cause 90 percent of bad breath problems.
2. Decrease the number of bacteria in your mouth by practicing excellent oral hygiene by brushing twice each day and flossing every night.
3. Stop smoking or using chewing tobacco.
4. Drink lots of water to keep your mouth moist. Dry mouth (called xerostomia) can cause bad breath, as it reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva helps you digest food, moistens your mouth, neutralizes acid, and washes away dead cells on the tongue, gums, and teeth that can decompose and cause more bad breath.
While bad breath can be annoying, it is preventable by maintaining strong oral care and practicing these behaviors.
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