Bad Breath - Cause, Cure and Social Impact

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Bad Breath - Cause, Cure and Social Impact

Just admit it. We all know we have done it one time or another. It’s your big first date and you’re ready to walk out the door, but just before you can go you give yourself a quick breath test. It is the age-old practice of the cupping of the hands over the mouth followed by a quick sniff to ensure your breath doesn’t stink. Society today has boosted the business of having fresher breath. Stores are full of products offering a variety of scented mouthwashes, mints, chewing gums, and strips. With all these products out there it is hard to believe that bad breath can still have the potential of sabotaging your date.

Bad breath is medically known as halitosis, and can be the result of a combination of factors. One factor is poor hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing daily, which can cause food particles to collect in the mouth and develop into bacteria known as plaque. The bacteria can then coat the teeth and cause tooth decay and irritation to the gums (gingivitis) (Grayson, 2004, para.4). A buildup of plaque on the teeth can cause toxins to form in the mouth, and then what you thought was a persistent bad taste or a continual case of bad breath could be a warning sign of gum disease. If the disease continues without any treatment, it will lead to further damage to the gums and jawbone (Grayson). What once was just a case of bad breath could then lead to periodontal disease, so be sure to see your dentist regularly and prevent gum disease by flossing daily and brushing two to three times a day.

It’s early in the morning and the first thing you do before you can come in close contact with anyone is get rid of that horrible taste in your mouth known as “morning breath.” Morning breath is caused by the lack of saliva and moisture in the mouth as you sleep and can be more of a problem for those who sleep with their mouths open. Dry mouth is a medical condition called xerostomia that can occur at anytime, not just in the mornings (Mayo Clinic, 2004, para.3). The production of salvia is crucial to help cleanse and moisten the mouth by washing away dead cells and neutralizing acids formed by plaque.

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