June 4th, 2013
Is getting rid of bad breath priority number one for you right now? When you sit down in a theatre, do the people around you cringe and move a couple of seats down? Do you keep asking who passed gas when it's evident that no one did? The chance does exist that it's your mouth, like an easy-bake oven set to a moist 98 degrees, the perfect place for odor causing bacteria to grow. We had a friend in high school--I think everyone has had this friend--that no one wanted to sit next to because his breath was always so bad. Now I know why this was the case and below are some tips to help get rid of bad breath.
What Causes Bad Breath
I'm not gonna fool you, there are, like, a million different reasons why your breath stinks. More often than not, you're dealing with a bacterial problem. There are other things, like lung cancer and liver failure that can cause bad breath, but those are rare and the smells caused by these diseases is a different smell than typical halitosis.
The most typical cause of bad breath is bacterial growth between the teeth, on the tongue, and in the cavities between your tonsils. Other causes include dehydration, consumption of stimulants like coffee and ADD medication, and ketosis (caused by not eating regular meals).
But, trust me, if your breath smells, it's got a lot to do with the fact that you're not brushing properly (teeth and tongue) and you're not eating regular meals and drinking more coffee than water. The following advice is all about how you can cure bad breath at home--unless you think you can perform a tonsillectomy at home.
How You Can Cure Bad Breath
Bad Breath can be stopped by brushing your teeth more often. Most dentists will tell you to brush three times a day, once after every meal. Make sure you brush your tongue, especially. Your tongue is where a lot of plaque and bacteria build up. Want a regiment? Spend 30 seconds brush each side of your upper and lower teeth (2 minutes) and another 30 seconds brushing your tongue. Make sure you get way back there, but if you gag and throw up in your mouth you're back to square one.
Bad Breath can be prevented by gargling with mouth wash regularly. Brushing your teeth is fine, but for those hard to reach places where bacteria grow over-night, mouth wash is the way to get to do it. Gargle for at least 30 seconds in the morning, making sure to get as far down your throat as possible. Rinse with water afterwards to make sure all of the junk is flushed out.
Prevent bad breath by changing your diet. Your saliva is naturally acidic, helping to prevent bad breath and protect your teeth, but the bacteria in your mouth can adapt. The acids and fiber found in fruits and vegetables will help uproot and kill much of the bacteria. So go have a fruit salad for lunch instead of those ramen noodles!
Stimulants are a major cause of bad breath. Things like coffee and amphetamines tend to dry out your mouth, allowing plaque and bacteria to thrive. Stay away from alertness medications, some cold medications, and energy drinks.
Smoking is a well known cause of bad breath. Smoking not only leaves the nasty smell of smoke, but it also tends to dry out your mouth, leaving bacteria to flourish. Stop smoking today and you might see a noticeable improvement in your love life. No, seriously, quitting smoking is proven to improve the ability to have, and intensify, better orgasms. Talk about win-win!
What's up with Therabreath?
Therabreath by Dr. Katz is just one more system out there meant to combat bad breath, but specifically the kind of bad breath caused by tonsil stones. Tonsil stones, as it turns out, are composed of something called volatile sulfur compounds--and it's super stinky. If you've ever coughed up a tonsil stone, you know the smell.
The people at TheraBreath claim that their product is superior to regular toothpaste and mouthwash, but there is no clinical evidence to suggest that this is the case. In fact, reading through the website for clues leads one to believe that TheraBreath is nothing more than toothpaste and mouthwash that use hydrogen peroxide as an active ingredient instead of alcohol.
So what to do about tonsil stones?
Adam Bjerk wrote a fabulous article for our site all about tonsil stones. He's done his research and the basic conclusion of his article is this: if you want to get rid of tonsil stones, you've got two options:
- Continual maintenance of basic oral hygiene regiment that focuses on gargling and applying gentle amounts of pressure to release the stones.
- Get a tonsillectomy.
I got the tonsillectomy. It was a world of pain I've never experienced before, but now that I can breath and my breath doesn't smell like I've been eating fecal matter for breakfast every day, I'm grateful for the operation. It may be worth seeing an E.N.T. (Ear, Nose, and Throat) specialist to get an assessment. They don't usually remove tonsils for the sake of relieving a person's halitosis, but exceptions can be made. Have your family physician get you a referral. It might be the best thing you've ever done for your social life.