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What Causes Bad Breath: How To Cure Halitosis

Oct 15, 2007
If you want to know what causes bad breath and how to cure halitosis, you first have to find out what causes it. It is difficult to cure a condition if you do not know what the cause it, but luckily the cause of bad breath is known. There might well be an argument about what the root cause is, but generally it is known to be caused by oral bacteria.

Sure, what you eat can cause incidental bad breath, but it is not halitosis. Thus, if you eat garlic then many will find your breath offensive, but only if you have not eaten garlic yourself. That is possibly why so many French eat garlic - because so many others do and that is their way of not smelling the rest! True halitosis, however, can not be 'cured' that way.

Many believe bad teeth to be the true cause of halitosis, but that too is incorrect. Again, bad teeth can contribute, but teeth rot due to the action of oral bacteria on the food debris in and around the gums and teeth. This bacterial action generates acid that attack the enamel of the teeth and cause dental caries. That in itself however does not cause bad breath.

Bad breath can be caused by various digestive problems, by problems with the oesophagus and by infections of the sinus, airway and throat. However, 90% to 95% of halitosis is caused by problems in the oral cavity or the mouth. Bad breath is more than just bad teeth that can be resolved by dental treatment, and needs more basic treatment than that.

The chemicals that cause the smell are commonly called VSCs, or volatile sulfur compounds. The main VSCs are hydrogen sulfide, the smelly gas that every schoolchild knows about, dimethyl sulfide and methyl mercaptan. These are formed in the fissures and cracks in the tongue, the cheeks and between the gums and the teeth where there is a lack of oxygen. The VSCs are emitted by a particular type of bacteria known as anaerobic bacteria that survive in the absence of oxygen. Expose them to oxygen and they cannot function.

These bacteria are not particularly bad: in fact they live in everybody's mouths. It is their action in digesting proteins that release the VSCs and hence the horrible smells. If you are not sure if your breath is bad or not, then clean the inside of your wrist then lick it. Allow the saliva to partially dry so that it becomes concentrated and then smell. The inside of your wrist is warm and will evaporate off the VSCs that you can smell.

However, the route to the cure is the cause. Anaerobic bacteria and food residues. If you keep your mouth clean from protein residues then you can reduce the source of food for these bacteria. Vegetarians will be less liable to suffer from halitosis than meat eaters will, although vegetable protein can also be broken down by the bacteria if allowed to accumulate in the mouth so nobody is completely immune.

The key is the fact that the bacteria are anaerobic. Expose them to oxygen and you either kill them or they stop all activity. If you brush the gums, tongue and cheeks with a soft brush and an oxygenated cleaner, then you will get rid of your bad breath. Use an oxygenated mouthwash and you will also help to pacify or kill these bacteria. You have to get the oxygen right down into the fissures between the papillae of your tongue, and the cracks in your cheeks, and also deep into the space between your teeth and gums.

Use a tongue scraper to coat your tongue with a paste that generates oxygen, then scrape it off. Use the mouthwash regularly, and before you know it, your halitosis and bad breath will be gone. I know, because I suffered. However, people no longer take a step back when I speak to them face to face. I no longer have to talk sideways and put my career in jeopardy because I cannot eyeball people when I speak to them.

If you have bad breath then the same will have happened to you, whether you noticed it or not. People will avoid coming close to you when you speak to them and you will only ever kiss the same girl once. Learn what causes bad breath and how to cure it. Don't suffer any longer, but more importantly, don't make others suffer when you speak to them. There is no need because there is a cure.

If you are looking for more information on how to cure halitosis and get rid of bad breath, check our Pete's website Welsh Health Systems where he will explain the causes in more detail and inform you how to cure your problem.
About the Author
If you are looking for more information on how to cure halitosis and get rid of bad breath, check our Pete's website Welsh Health Systems where he will explain the causes in more detail and inform you how to cure your problem.
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