Nobody likes bad breath.
Being told by a partner or colleague that your breath is less than fresh can be … well, embarrassing. And it can often have a negative psychological effect, too. For example, the belief that you have bad breath (real or imagined) can make you paranoid and unnecessarily anxious in social situations; you may even avoid contact with other people — especially at close range.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, is caused by the bacterial composition of your mouth.
The food you consume can have an effect. You see, anything you eat is digested and then absorbed into your blood stream. It eventually travels to your lungs and is released in your breath. You might be able to mask strong-smelling foods with brushing and mouthwash, but the smell won’t go away completely until the food has passed through your body.
Some other things that can affect your breath:
▪ a dry mouth — some medications exasperate the problem
▪ gum disease
▪ tonsil infections
▪ too much coffee & alcohol — these drinks can dehydrate you, which creates a favourable environment for undesirable bacteria.
An old wives tale
A popular belief is that bad breath comes from your stomach. However, as biochemist and dentist Dr Harold Katz of TheraBreath (http://www.therabreath.com/) points out, your stomach has a valve at the top that, unless you belch, keeps its contents in.
What are the solutions?
Thankfully, bad breath is not an incurable condition. There are several things you can do. Baking soda toothpaste with mouthwash can help. Be aware, though, that mouthwash containing alcohol will mask the odour, but it won’t alter the environment of your mouth to fight bacteria.
TheraBreath is a system developed by the previously mentioned Dr Katz. When used correctly, it works very well. TheraBreath works by targeting the bugs in your mouth that produce volatile sulphur compounds that cause bad breath. The system starts with a toothpaste and mouthwash with ingredients specifically designed to change the environment in your mouth to be less favourable to bacteria — it’s simple and you don’t have to use products you’re not already familiar with.
For extra confidence
For some extra confidence, try mouth sprays, nasal drops (if you suffer from post nasal drip), chewing gum and lozenges.
Read more about the TheraBreath range and our halitosis consultations.