Bad breath is not sexy

Posted by Dental News Team On March - 2 - 2010

It goes from being unpleasant to downright disgusting and keeps you from making friends or finding a partner.

Strangely though, estimates say that every fourth adult in Europe has bad breath every once in a while. One in fifteen has it all the time.
It might not be a bad idea to let the affected know, but most find this embarassing. But why? Well, it’s like foot or underarm odor: lots of people have it, but nobody likes to talk about it.

If you have this problem, you should see a doctor.
Treating bad breath has has never really been a priority in dentistry. Only in the last four or five years have younger generations begun looking at the issue. This is definitely a good idea, because nine times out of ten, bad breath begins in the oral cavity.

What causes bad breath?
Aside from poor oral hygiene and inflammation of the gums, the most common cause of bad breath is scum forming on the tongue. Bacteria that cause bad smells settle on the tongue, but if you clean your tongue using a scraper or simply your toothbrush, you get rid of them and your breath once again smells good.  Stress can also be a factor, as it slows the flow of saliva. And smelly bacteria like inhabiting this dry environment. Many business-people have great oral hygiene, but their breath still smells bad. This is the result of stress and too much coffee, which dries out the mouth. The solution is simple: drink more water and eat fruit.

Can you test yourself for bad breath?
Yes and no, the airbag-method is the best: simply take a clean plastic bag and breathe into it. Be sure to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Then seal up the bag. To improve your sense of smell, go out into the fresh air, or smell some fresh-ground coffee or espresso. Then squeeze the bag out in front of your nose. What also works is the «wrist-licking method», in which you give the back of your wrist a few strong licks and then sniff at it. This may be a sign that your bad breath is coming from your tongue. One thing that definitely does not work is breathing into your cupped hands. And the one really sure-fire way to find out is simply ask sombody who’s opinion you trust: «Hey, do I have bad breath?»

What about lozenges and mouthwash?
Products abound: sprays, mouthwash, chlorophyl tablets, peppermint leaves that you put on your tongue. They do cover up the smell for a while, but they only treat the symptom, not the cause. If you suffer from dry mouth, you can take sugar-free gum or candy, but all those do is speed up saliva production.

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Getting rid of bad breath

Posted by Dental News Team On November - 20 - 2009

Mouthwash, disinfectant rinses, Odol, Meridol and chewing gum can’t really get rid of bad breath forever !


First, you have to figure out whether you are dealing with a case of bad breath coming from the mouth (foetor ex ore) or the respiratory tract (halitosis)!

A bad smell coming from the respiratory tract (halitosis) may be caused by illnesses of the

  • lungs
  • esophagus
  • stomach
  • liver
  • or systemic illnesses such as Diabetes Mellitus

Mouthwash, even if it is the „best on the market“ won’t help at all. You need to treat the causes, the diabetes or the stomach ulcer etc.

If the smell is coming from your mouth (foetor ex ore), mouthwash can only cover this up for a while, because this is simply a symptom, while the smell may actually be caused by

Once a diagnosis has been made, the next step is treating the cause, the symptom of „bad breath“ will then go away automatically.

A good dentist knows about these factors, mouthwash only empties out your pocketbook but does not ultimately solve your problem!

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