Bad Breath Generates Weird Science, Odd Research

May 10th, 2012

One of the perks of being a bad breath expert is that you get to monitor the state of halitosis research. While in other fields it might be boring to read hundreds of studies and sift through reams of data, for me there’s nothing better than hunkering down with the latest investigations into the causes of and treatments for oral odor. That’s because bad breath occasionally generates some seriously weird research.

Consider everyone’s favorite new study: Recently, researchers at the UK’s University of Cranfield partnered with French fromage experts in order to find the world’s stinkiest cheeses. After sniffing and eating samples from dozens of candidates (and presumably, getting some of the worst halitosis on Earth), the judges declared a winner – Vieux Boulogne, a French cheese with a rind soaked in beer. The variety is so smelly that it beat out Pont l’Eveque (known to stain entire fridges with its scent) and Camembert (a cheese affectionately nicknamed “God’s Feet”).

And if nose-based judging is a little too subjective for your taste, you’re in luck. Researchers later verified their findings by using a specially equipped electronic sensor. Once again, Vieux Boulogne reigned supreme as the King of Oral Odor.

If you think that cheese-based scientific inquiry is a bit unusual, wait until you get a load of a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. In it, a pair of dental hygienists from Hebrew University theorized that we might be able to use blue light to kill bad breath.

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Dr. Katz asks Ontarians to say ‘Ahhhh’

May 7th, 2012

Whether he’s in his world-renowned breath clinics or on the road, our very own Dr. Katz has made it his mission to spread the word about bad breath prevention. Recently, his travels took him to southwest Ontario, where he used a halimeter and a headful of knowledge about halitosis to teach customers at the Covent Garden Market about bad breath.

As reported by the London Free Press, his method is simple: He uses standardized instrumentation (and a little bit of humor) to measure a person’s level of oral odor. And if you think that simply huffing into your hands and taking a sniff will work, think again.

Dr. Katz told the news source that this age-old technique may seem effective, but really it’s little more than an (admittedly excellent) way to smell your hand.

If want an accurate idea of how your breath smells, Dr. Katz recommends something a little more scientific: the halimeter. He started using the device in 1994 as a way to accurately measure his daughter’s oral odor. Very quickly, Dr. Katz found that this tool is the ideal method for measuring halitosis.

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K12 Probiotics kill Bad Breath and Prevent Infection

May 2nd, 2012

If your bad breath just isn’t going away, no matter what you do, then perhaps it’s time you switched to K12 probiotics. These all-natural specialty breath fresheners fight fire with fire, using bacteria to combat the odor-causing microbes that live in your mouth. And they really work, as three separate studies just reaffirmed.

The news is pretty exciting, but it isn’t all that surprising. After all, TheraBreath has been making use of probiotics for years. Still, it’s nice to learn that we stake our reputation on a product that truly neutralizes chronic halitosis.

The first study appeared in the journal FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology. Published by a team of Italian scientists, the paper reported that quite a few bacterial strains can make BLIS, the “magic bullet” of K12 probiotics.

BLIS, or bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances, are a group of proteins produced by certain species of microbes. Unlike the compounds given off by most oral bacteria, which simply stink, BLIS has a special purpose: It makes it harder for other microorganisms to live.

Essentially, BLIS is a naturally occurring antimicrobial agent. Think of it as salt sown in the earth to keep anything from growing there – when BLIS-producing microbes take up residence on your tongue, they quickly muscle out the odor-causing species, leading to long-term fresh breath.

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With Chronic Halitosis, Quality of Life Goes out the Window

April 27th, 2012

Having bad breath can do a real number on your self-esteem, not to mention on your oral health. In fact, oral odor can seriously sabotage day-to-day life. Your friendships, your self-esteem, your confidence – you name it, and chances are that chronic halitosis will take it down a peg. And if you don’t believe that bad breath can be so terrible for quality of life (QoL), then consider reading a new study that appears in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene.

The investigation monitored the QoL of one nameless man, who is given the pretty cool-sounding pseudonym “Mr. X”.

In the study, researchers began by anonymously meeting an obese, 36-year-old Dutch man. Dental experts noted that the subject, Mr. X, had severe gingivitis, heavy plaque deposits and “extreme foetor-ex-ore (very strong, offensive breath odor).”

As you can read for yourself (the study is open-access at the moment), chronic halitosis has a huge effect on the man’s daily life. In fact, the authors – who hail from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands – suggested that Mr. X’s anxiety, lack of social contacts and poor personal hygiene were all linked to his halitosis.

After examining Mr. X, they found that his oral health was so poor that he was in danger of losing all of his teeth. Likewise, his self-reported QoL was miserable: His attitude was timid, his social connections were few and his dental anxiety was elevated.

However, by taking some specialty breath fresheners and adopting a daily at-home tooth-cleaning regimen, Mr. X was able to turn his life around, reduce his chronic halitosis and keep his teeth.

Not bad!

That’s the power of specialty breath fresheners. By wetting the tongue, oxygenating the mouth and neutralizing odor compounds, these products can improve oral odor as they help boost self-esteem and self-confidence.


Halitosis Drives People to Extreme Measures

April 24th, 2012

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from being a halitosis professional, it’s that people will try virtually anything to get rid of bad breath. And who can blame them? Oral odor is difficult to get rid of at the best of times, so much so that it’s usually advisable to ditch one’s run-of-the-mill dental products in favor of a specialty breath freshening regimen.

You see, specially formulated, all-natural products can moisten the mouth and oxygenate the palate, thereby neutralizing odors and effectively shoo-ing bacteria out of the oral environment. That’s the open secret of freshening breath: It all boils down to making life hard for your mouth’s microbes.

However, it’s important to do so without synthetic chemicals, irritants, allergens or other harsh substances. These ingredients generally make little or no progress in fighting bacteria; instead, they irritate the tissues in your mouth and parch your palate, making bad breath worse.

Yet these are the types of ingredients many Americans saturate their mouths with every day. And if you think that people won’t go to extremes in the effort to eliminate halitosis, well, buckle up.

Here is a list of some of the bizarrest substances used at one time or another in the fight against oral odor. And before you sneer at them, keep in mind that some of them are probably lurking in your medicine cabinet right now.

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