Today Is National Fresh Breath Day

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Today (August 6th) Is National Fresh Breath Day

Smelling your own breath is easy when wearing a mask. Let’s make sure it is fresh!

First the stats:

  • 26% of people have avoided socializing with someone because that person had bad breath.
  • 59% of singles are turned off by cigarette breath (dating site What’s Your Price)
  • 21% of people say garlic breath is a turn-off. (Supervalu)
  • 10% of women like the smell of beer breath. (Lion Bar Ice Cream)
  • A survey by Skinfo reveals that 30% of HR managers feel that bad breath and piercings are bigger red flags than tattoos
  • High income earners (greater than $120,000 a year) believe people with bad breath are less likely to be promoted at work. (Oral B)

The medical term for bad breath is “Halitosis”, and here is what The Mayo Clinic says can cause it.

  • Food. The breakdown of food particles in and around your teeth can increase bacteria and cause a foul odor. Eating certain foods, such as onions, garlic and spices, also can cause bad breath. After you digest these foods, they enter your bloodstream, are carried to your lungs and affect your breath.
  • Tobacco products. Smoking causes its own unpleasant mouth odor. Smokers and oral tobacco users are also more likely to have gum disease, another source of bad breath.
  • Poor dental hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss daily, food particles remain in your mouth, causing bad breath. A colorless, sticky film of bacteria (plaque) forms on your teeth. If not brushed away, plaque can irritate your gums and eventually form plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums (periodontitis). Your tongue also can trap bacteria that produce odors. Dentures that aren’t cleaned regularly or don’t fit properly can harbor odor-causing bacteria and food particles.
  • Dry mouth. Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, removing particles that cause bad odors. A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia (zeer–o-STOE-me-uh) can contribute to bad breath because production of saliva is decreased. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep, leading to “morning breath,” and it worsens if you sleep with your mouth open. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by a problem with your salivary glands and some diseases.
  • Medications. Some medications can indirectly produce bad breath by contributing to dry mouth. Others can be broken down in the body to release chemicals that can be carried on your breath.
  • Infections in your mouth. Bad breath can be caused by surgical wounds after oral surgery, such as tooth removal, or as a result of tooth decay, gum disease or mouth sores.
  • Other mouth, nose and throat conditions. Bad breath can occasionally stem from small stones that form in the tonsils and are covered with bacteria that produce odor. Infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat, which can contribute to postnasal drip, also can cause bad breath.
  • Other causes. Diseases, such as some cancers, and conditions such as metabolic disorders, can cause a distinctive breath odor as a result of chemicals they produce. Chronic reflux of stomach acids (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) can be associated with bad breath. Bad breath in young children can be caused by a foreign body, such as a piece of food, lodged in a nostril.

Did you know doctors can test to see if you have bad breath? Typically most bad breath is caused by certain types of bacteria that collect on the back of the tongue.

So you have it, but what can you do to get rid of it?

Toothpaste, mouth rinses, floss, and avoiding certain foods like garlic and onions before a big date are easy choices. Next up, talk to your dentist about what you may need to fix in your mouth. Gum disease and cavities can create breeding grounds for bacteria. Replacement or tooth restorations can make a dramatic difference!

Don’t suffer in silence, as treatments of many different conditions may solve your bad breath, which is a common symptom of body problems. Enjoy your minty gum, but if it is not enough, seek help.

Susan Saunders 8/6/20

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