If you’re suffering from it, don’t worry you’re not alone. Halitosis results from sulphuric compounds that are produced by bacteria that do not use oxygen and inhabit our bodies.
Here are some signs that may suggest that you have bad breath:
- Frequent bad taste in your mouth
- People keep their distance when talking to you or mention that you have bad breath
- You notice that your gums are purplish, swollen and bleed when you touch them. You could also notice the presence of purulent fluid, which is a symptom of periodontal disease (gum disease)
- Your mouth is dry and your saliva doesn’t have its usual texture. It’s more viscous.
Most problems that cause bad breath come from the mouth. Some conditions can predispose to halitosis:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Cavities or defective restorations
- Accumulation of food debris between the teeth
- Mouth diseases, like cold sores
- Tobacco and alcohol dry the mouth and mix with other mouth smells to form an unpleasant blend
Bad breath can also originate from another source with no connection to your mouth, such as these:
- Infection, particularly of the lungs, throat or sinus
- Poorly controlled diabetes (in this case, you would notice a fruity breath, similar to the smell and taste of an overripe fruit)
- Renal failure
- Liver disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, common in pregnant women
Mouthwash, tongue scraper and dentist
What you can do to avoid bad breath is very simple. Oral hygiene is an integral part of these measures, like brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing once a day. Using mouthwash (low alcohol, to avoid drying out your mouth and worsening the situation) could be indicated, as long as it doesn’t replace brushing or flossing. Our tongue is porous and retains bacteria. A tongue scraper or even a toothbrush should be used to clean it. If your dentist detects cavities or defective restorations during your regular visits, have them repaired quickly.
Apart from good oral hygiene, drinking plenty of water and eating enough fibres will help your digestive system function well and keep it free from bad smells. And in the best of all possible worlds, if you smoke, you should consider quitting: not only will your breath be better, but your overall health will be too!
A recent survey led by Vision Critical and EXCEL gum on Canadians revealed that Quebeckers stand out when it comes to telling someone about their bad breath. Indeed, six Quebeckers out of 10 (61%) take the bull by the horns and openly tell the person concerned, even when it concerns their spouse!
Another highlight is that nearly two Quebeckers (18%) out of 10 told the surveyors that they chew gum while making love!
This survey led on more than 900 Canadian consumers also revealed that 75% of Quebec respondents have already had to deal with bad breath colleagues, 42% were affected by bad breath in public transportation, and more than two thirds (39%) are struggling with a husband or wife with an unpleasant breath.
To prevent these embarrassing situations, Wrigley has created an emergency chewing gum hotline at 1-855-EXCEL-11, to provide consumers with tips on how to manage these moments of bad breath - at home, in an elevator, at work and elsewhere... It could prove useful in many situations!