Millions of people suffer embarrassment due to bad breath. The technical name for bad breath is “halitosis”. Take a walk down the personal care aisle of any drug or grocery Store and you will find product after product all dealing with this condition.Before we can discuss how to get rid of bad breath, we need to have an understanding of the causes and symptoms.
Interesting to note is the fact that dental hygiene was practiced as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. The Greeks used to chew on anise seeds. Anise tastes like licorice.
The Romans discovered that chewing on parsley would disguise the smell of alcohol on their breath.
They were probably unaware that parsley is high in chlorophyll which turns carbon dioxide into oxygen making it a natural as one of the first breath fresheners.
Everyone has an occasional problem with bad breath which is why Americans spend more than $200 million a year on products to freshen the breath.
Pills, mouthwash, breath mints, toothpaste and more comprise this industry.
Bad breath that is persistent, consistent and resistant to normal remedies can be symptomatic of a more serious condition.
Bad breath can be caused by the following:
- Poor dental hygiene — Infrequent or improper brushing and flossing, allows bits of food that are stuck between the teeth to decay inside the mouth. Poor oral hygiene eventually will lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which also can cause bad breath.
- Infections in the mouth — These can be caused by either a cavity in a tooth or by periodontal (gum) disease.
- Respiratory tract infections — Throat, sinus or lung infections
- External source — Garlic, onions, coffee, cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco. Smoking and drinking coffee, tea and/or red wine will contribute to your teeth becoming discolored.
- Dry mouth (xerostomia) — This can be caused by salivary gland problems, medicines or “mouth breathing.” A large number of prescriptions and over the counter medicines cause dry mouth.
- Illnesses — Diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others
- Psychiatric illness — Some people may believe they have bad breath, but others do not notice it. This is referred to as “pseudohalitosis.
You may not always know that you have bad breath. That’s because odor-detecting cells in the nose eventually get used to the smell. Other people may notice and react by stepping away from you as you speak, or making a face.
Other symptoms depend on the underlying cause of bad breath:
- Infections in the mouth — Symptoms depend on the type of infection. They can include:
o Red or swollen gums that may bleed easily, especially after brushing or flossing
o Pus between teeth or a pocket of pus (abscess) at the base of a tooth
o Loose teeth or a change in how a denture fits
o Painful, open sores on the tongue or gums
- Respiratory tract infections — Symptoms may include:
o Sore throat
o Swollen lymph nodes (“swollen glands”) in the neck
o Stuffy nose
o A greenish or yellowish discharge from the nose
o A cough that produces mucus
- Dry mouth — Symptoms may include:
o Difficulty swallowing dry foods
o Difficulty speaking for a long time because of mouth dryness
o Burning in the mouth
o An unusually high number of cavities
o Dry eyes (in Sjögren’s syndrome)
- Illnesses — Symptoms of diabetes, lung disease, kidney failure or liver disease
You are reading this right now because you or a loved one suffers from the disease of bad breath… halitosis! And one word you can use to describe the disease which affects 50-80 million Americans is… Embarrassment!
In fact, in many cases, people voice how ‘bad breath’ has created social and psychological barriers and has even affected personal relationships with their significant other. Constant worry about the smell of halitosis can even have a negative effect how people perform professionally. At work, dates, parties, gatherings, and daily life, bad breath can be devastating to anyone.
So do you have bad breath? Simply worrying about your bad breath or keeping your fears to yourself is not a good solution. Ask honest opinions about your breath from trusted family and friends may be the first step to a ‘call to action’ against bad breath.
To learn what halitosis is and five natural remedies to treat halitosis, please keep reading.