Aside from some really obscure and dangerous conditions and diseases that have the side effect of bad breath, there isn’t a whole lot of worthwhile information out there. I was hard pressed to find much information about ‘regular’ bad breath from ‘official sources’.
These government sources said things like brush your teeth and tongue,use a fluoride toothpaste, floss and don’t smoke. Also there was some mention of using fresh parsley or a strong mint to temporarily freshen the breath.
One thing they did mention was that mouthwashes do not treat the underlying problem. (That’s for sure)
All of this is generally good (and obvious) advice, but if any of that worked for everyone on more than a temporary basis, there would be very little bad breath to suffer in the world.
And we know that isn’t the case, don’t we? In fact, a lot of people suffer with bad breath.
Many mouthwash companies target bad breath directly and they wouldn’t be doing that if there wasn’t a market for it.
Don’t think that it has to do with how well you take care of your mouth. For most people, that is not the case.
You can brush and floss all day long, but if you do nothing to get at the root of the problem, those things won’t help much. It is not a question of impeccable oral hygiene. (although that can definitely help a lot.)
Unfortunately, many of the products for sale may not be all that good for fighting or stopping bad breath. Some could possibly make it worse.
Since official documentation was quite lacking, the best information I could find on bad breath was from Dr. Harold Katz of the California Breath Clinics.
He offers a free 47 page ebook on bad breath
Doctor Katz says that bad breath is due to anaerobic (can’t live well with oxygen around) bacteria that live in the folds of the tongue, back of the throat and in between the papillae of the tongue. (Areas that don’t have a lot of oxygen)
He also says or implies that these little critters naturally exist in your mouth and you won’t be able to completely get rid of them. However, when they multiply out of control, they produce volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that are responsible for foul smelling breath.
Things like smoking, coffee, alcohol, dry mouth, snoring and mouth breathing are all factors that can make breath worse.‚ Oh and regular toothpaste that contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfates (soap) can dry out the mouth tissue, contributing to more bad breath.
I also have a resource page for bad breath products and resources that may be more useful than the typical fare.
Saliva naturally contains oxygen which works to keep the little critters or anaerobic bacteria down to a minimum.
However, if the mouth dries, there is less oxygen around. With less oxygen, the bacteria thrive more. With more bacteria, there will be more volatile sulfur compounds hanging out.
When the VSC levels reach a certain point, you will have noticeable bad breath.
Drinks like coffee and fruit juices increase the acidity of the mouth which also causes the anaerobes to reproduce more quickly.‚ (they like a more acidic environment.) Of course, sugar helps them as well.
So what is the solution according to Dr. Katz? Naturally, he has a product line for bad breath. The unique feature of his product line is that they contain OxyD8 – a patented oxygen containing compound that is safe for the mouth but packs enough wallop to knock the little guys silly.
I’ve used his products for a different purpose, fighting gingivitis, and I have to say they have been very helpful.
Almost everyone experiences bad breath at some point, but about 30% (according to Dr. Katz) have chronic bad breath. (it doesn’t go away very often)‚ His commercial site, Therabreath is full of testimonials about people who have benefited from his products.
There is another 30% – the lucky ones, who very, very rarely experience their own bad breath. (except perhaps in the morning)
If you have bought any of about 85% of the bad breath solutions on the commercial market including mints, breath spray and mouthwashes, you have ended up disappointed or with very temporary results. Breath mints don’t work for very long, nor do they get to the root cause of the problem.
Some products can actually cause you to suffer even greater bad breath after they wear off. For example, products that contain alcohol (one product in particular contains a very large percentage of it) can dry the mucosa (tissues in the mouth). This drying leads to a decrease in saliva and can actually aid the growth of anaerobic, bad breath causing bacteria.
If I were trying to get rid of bad breath, I would use Dr. Katz’s stuff. I don’t think there is much else out there that will do the job without a lot of undesirable side effects or short term results.
Remember not to take this as advice. If you have a health condition, including bad breath, be sure to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.