Archive for the ‘halitosis’ Category

Since All Diets Cause Bad Breath, Not Everyone is a Good Judge of Halitosis

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhy are some people so sensitive to halitosis, while others seem to be almost immune to the smell of bad breath? There are several reasons, including basic physical factors like a hypersensitive nose or the presence of an unfamiliar or especially strong scent. But, overall, we can chalk up insensitivity to bad breath to the fact that all diets, not matter how veggie-heavy, appear to cause halitosis.

This means that virtually everyone gets bad breath, which then makes it harder for their noses to pick up on the smell of other peoples’ oral funk.

It’s true — and a new study appearing in the European Journal of Nutrition has confirmed it. Author Jukka Meurman, of the University of Helsinki, began by considering the idea that certain diets are more likely to give you funky breath. After all, if specific foods like garlic or asparagus can give you halitosis, then why not whole dietary regimens?

However, Meurman found that there’s hardly one style of eating that causes oral odor. Instead, all diets seem to.

He did note that “fermentable carbohydrates…should be avoided in cases with bad breath,” since carbs may encourage bacteria to multiply. But overall, he could not point his finger at just one offending diet: “No controlled studies exist on the effect of dietary regimens on halitosis, which in effect is mostly due to putrescence in deep periodontal pockets or tonsillar crypts.”

He’s certainly right there. Most bad breath starts in the mouth as a result of gum disease, tonsil stones or a dry tongue.

Now, that’s not to say that food doesn’t cause bad breath. It does. Rather, Meurman found that all diets (instead a particular one) eventually lead to halitosis.

Consider a diet that’s dairy-heavy. Would you expect it to give you bad breath? (After all, certain cheeses are quite stinky, and milk seems to reliably lead to funky mouth odor.) Well, if you said yes, you’d be right: Dairy can quickly ferment in your mouth, leading to the production of volatile sulfur compounds, the molecules that give halitosis its nasty reek.

That doesn’t mean that milk is without its dental benefits. Not only does dairy contain calcium, a mineral needed for bone hardness, but it is also the breeding ground for Lactobacillus salivarius K12, the microbe used in specialty oral care probiotics to banish other, odor-causing bacteria.

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Get the Down-low on Carbonated Beverages and Oral Health

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

971007_78091126We all know that gulping down a tall glass of water can do wonders to our health, but sometimes H2O doesn’t satisfy your craving for something bubbly. Before you reach for your drink of choice, you may be surprised to find out that not all carbonated beverages are created equal – especially when it comes to the health of your mouth. Bad breath is often a nasty side effect of sipping on a can of soda, but your entire mouth may be taking a hit. Here are the best and worst carbonated beverages on the market and why you should skip it or grab it:

Sparkling water
Sometimes it isn’t the sugary taste you’re craving, but the bubbly sensation. Carbonated water is basically just that – fizzy water. However, the consumption of seltzer water doesn’t increase enamel erosion, and in fact the minerals in the water actually offer a protective coating on the teeth. Carbonated water can also help improve gastrointestinal problems, which often cause bad breath. These beverages can sometimes help digestion and make sure that food is moving through your system properly. If you’re going to sip on carbonated water, skip the flavors, as they are considered potentially erosive. 

Cola
Cola is one of the most acidic beverages on the market, most colas have a pH level close to vinegar. Not only will this erode your teeth, but it can cause major stomach issues. Cola is one of the top best-selling beverages on the market, but this beverage has countless bad effects on the entire body. A 12-ounce serving of cola contains an average of 39 grams of sugar and can wreak havoc in your mouth. The sticky syrup of cola can stick around in your mouth if you’re not washing it down with water, leading to bacteria accumulation, halitosis and tooth erosion.

“Tooth loss, periodontal disease, and gingivitis can be problems, especially with a high phosphorus intake, particularly from soft drinks. All kinds of bone problems can occur with prolonged calcium deficiency, which causes a decrease in bone mass,” according to Elson M. Haas’ “The Detox Diet: A How-To & When-To Guide for Cleansing the Body.”

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Battle Garlic Breath Easily

Friday, January 25th, 2013

602458_94754895Eating a clove of garlic a day has various health benefits. It has been shown to possibly assist with joint health and the thinning of blood, and contains antioxidants and increases the absorption of iron and zinc. The sulfuric compounds and phytonutrients in garlic have great powerful effects on the body; however, one of those effects is bad breath.

Halitosis – or bad breath – may be unsavory to many people, but it’s no reason to eliminate garlic from your diet. Simple fixes, like chomping on a sprig of parsley can quickly get rid of the bad breath followed by garlic. If you don’t have parsley nearby, there are other things that will help.

“The same sulfuric compounds in garlic that benefit your health circulate to the lungs and are exhaled with your breath, leaving you with dragon mouth for several hours,” Sheryl Barringer, Ph.D., a professor of food science and technology at Ohio State University told Women’s Health Magazine. “Research suggests that sipping milk before or during garlic eating also decreases the amount of odor coming out of your mouth.”

Drink up
Staying well hydrated is key in keeping your breath smelling fresh and clean, but there are several options to wash the mouth of the garlic aftertaste. Slurping down plenty of water is the best way to get rid of smelly breath because it washes down any excess food in the mouth and helps with saliva production.
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Better your health by combating dry mouth

Friday, January 18th, 2013

dry mouth and stressHaving a good night’s sleep is pertinent for a healthy mind and body, but there are some issues that keep us up at night. Do you ever have to get up in the middle of the night to get some water? Suffering from dry mouth can cause pain and discomfort throughout the night and during the day, and it can also be a sign of other illnesses.

During sleep, the body is able to restore itself, but if you are waking up in the middle of the night to drink water, this restoration is being interrupted and can cause you to be groggy throughout the day. This can hinder work, weight loss, and increase stress and the probability of sickness. All because of your dry mouth symptoms!

What are the symptoms?

Although “dry mouth” is pretty straightforward, there are other symptoms that you may have as well. You may also have trouble swallowing, chewing and speaking without taking a sip of water. Other people may have cracked and sore skin inside the mouth, and you may have a sandpaper-like tongue.

What is causing it?

There are many reasons why you may be having dry mouth, some that are easily preventable and others are a larger issue that should be taken seriously. If you feel like you’re suffering from post nasal drip, this could be directly related to dry mouth. With this illnesses, the mucus becomes thick, which can sometimes make it challenging to breathe through the mouth.

“The sensation of post-nasal drip is not usually caused by an increased amount of mucus coming from your nose or sinuses,” Dr. Robert Dolan told EverydayHealth. “It is more likely to be caused by the mucus becoming too thick or by irritation of your throat. In my experience, the three most common causes are allergy, gastric reflux, and medications that cause dryness.”

Preventing post nasal drip entirely depends on where it is coming from. Oral medications and natural nasal sprays can combat this issue if it doesn’t stem from a larger illness.

What to change?

Are you a smoker? Do you eat unhealthy foods? Do you commonly drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages? These are all causes of dry mouth! Without having to change much of your lifestyle to combat bad breath, you can try to cut back on the amount of unhealthy things you intake. If you’re a smoker or an avid coffee drinker, make sure that you drink a glass of water afterwards to moisturize the mouth. Drinking a substantial amount of water each day will help eliminate dry mouth. Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet can help dramatically as well. Because these items have a large amount of water in them, and vitamins and minerals, they keep the mouth healthy.

What does dry mouth lead to?

Dry mouth can lead to various other oral health issues such as tooth decay, bad breath, a lack of taste and mouth sores. Since the bacteria in our mouths have no chance to get flushed down by saliva – which is what normally happens – it just stays in our mouths and causes these issues. Mouth sores are more common because when there is no protective layer of moisture, there is a much higher risk of cuts and infections.

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How to tactfully hint that someone else has bad breath

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Woman telling secret.Having bad breath in public is the worst! But sometimes we don’t even realize that our breath is causing the room to quickly empty. You know how people often say “If it were me, I’d like to know about it.” well, it’s easier said than done. When someone around you is suffering from halitosis, and it’s making interactions difficult, it may not be as simple as it seems to give them the heads up. Here are a few creative ways to let anyone from your boss to your sweetie know they are stinking up the room:

Insult yourself

Even if it isn’t true, saying that you feel like your breath is smelly may actually have another person feeling like they are experiencing the same thing. You can ask the other person if they have any mints or gum, which will likely lead them to snack on one of these remedies as well. If you have gum or mints, offer the other person one as well. You may want to find a unique way of offering them this bad breath killer, so ask if they’ve tried a new flavor or comment on a stick of gum being your go-to. However, stay away from sugary gum, because even though it might kick the smell for a time being, it will just make it worse overall.

Make up a character

You won’t want to blurt out that the person you’re standing next to has awful bad breath, so it might be helpful to make up a scenario when you ran into someone with extreme halitosis. Tell the person you’re with about a person that you met in the waiting room of a dentist’s office with chronic halitosis who was there for a deep cleaning to help get rid of bad breath. Explain that she was there because she found out she had gum disease, but wasn’t aware of how bad her breath was. This story may have the person re-thinking their oral hygiene, but it also could just make the person feel like they need a breath mint – like how talking about food can make you hungry even if you really aren’t.

Discuss good oral health

If you talk to the person about how you always forget to use mouthwash or floss, although your dentist suggests that you do this everyday, it may raise their consciousness about his or her own poor oral hygiene. If it is your beau that has bad breath, lead by example and practice good oral health in front of the person as much as possible. After eating a meal, excuse yourself to floss or use mouthwash. Women may want to carry around a travel size mouthwash and offer it to the person with bad breath. They won’t feel embarrassed if you think you also have bad breath.


Talk about a new product

If offering a mint or piece of gum doesn’t give the person you are with a hint that their breath stinks, talking about a great product you’ve recently tried out may help them in the long run. You could tell the person about a new alcohol free mouthwash or natural toothpaste that has done wonders to your mouth. If you are talking about how much you love a product, the other person may be inclined to try it out as well. Unfortunately, this is more of a long-term solution, though, and won’t help out in the moment.

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