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Bad Breath: Dating Deal Breaker

Bad breath is a sign of an unhealthy body?

Written by: Dr. Nijam

July 22, 2021

Bad breath is common among adults, and it is a dating deal-breaker for many! According to the American Dental Association, at least 50% of adults suffer from bad breath or chronic bad breath (AKA Halitosis). There are various reasons why adults have bad breath but 90% of bad breath comes from a dirty tongue, a problem that could easily be solved via the use of a tongue scraper. However, other factors such as poor dental health habits and other potential health problems can also result in bad breath. While at first glance bad breath is a simple and treatable condition, those who suffer from Halitosis can be indicative of serious ailments like diabetes and kidney disease. Read more to find out…

Did you know that 43% out of 5,000 respondents agreed that fresh breath matters the most when it comes to a potential date? The numbers have spoken and although it sounds a bit silly, this is no laughing matter. Bad breaths might just be the reason why you are not getting that second date.

What causes bad breath?

What-causes-bad-breath

The main cause of bad breath is bacteria that produce Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSCs). VSCs are the main cause of what makes the breath smell bad. The type of bacteria that produces VSCs are mainly Gram-negative anaerobic bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria thrive in low oxygen regions and are commonly found where tartar build-up is excessive or in deep gum pockets.

A quick measurement of your gum pocket is indicative of the severity of your gum disease. This is because gum pockets create the perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive in. In terms of gum measurement, 2-4mm is considered normal, however, anything deeper than 5mm of gum pocketing with bleeding is indicative of a high accumulation of anaerobic bacteria that results in gum inflammation leading to possible bone loss. These harmful bacteria also produce toxins that enter the bloodstream and are also associated with other health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease and stress. These are often the same bacteria that cause bad breath.

Bad breath can be caused by other factors too, such as food intake. When you go on a dinner date, watch out for food containing garlic and onions. These foods produce several sulfur-containing gases that are absorbed into our bloodstream, meaning our body would also exude an unpleasant odour. Tobacco products are perhaps the most notorious when it comes to bad breath as it dries up the fluids in our mouth that help wash away food stains and bacteria lingering inside.

Poor dental hygiene such as not brushing the teeth correctly, or not brushing at all, would also cause bad breath and gum disease. About 15% of bad breath may not be directly related to the mouth. It could be a result of upper and lower respiratory infection or a systemic illness such as diabetes or disorders of the kidney or liver.

The medical condition xerostomia (dry mouth in layman’s terms) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, as it helps prevent tooth decay and neutralise acids produced by plaque. It also washes away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and throat; if not removed, these cells will decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth could be caused by a number of factors such as medication or continuous breathing through the mouth, to which we would further elaborate.

5 Tips to eliminate bad breath

1) Correct mouth breathing

1) Correct mouth breathing

According to a study, breathing through the mouth is much more harmful than breathing through the nose. Mouth breathing causes the saliva in your mouth to dry up faster. Bacteria then easily multiply and thrive in a dry environment. People who sleep through the night while breathing through their mouth would experience dry mouth in the morning, and subsequently, would experience bad breath. So, breathe the right way — always through the nose. Proper nasal breathing will reduce the number of harmful particles entering your lungs and also improve the efficiency of oxygen transfer from your blood to your cells.

2) Maintain good gum health

Maintain good gum health

2) Maintain good gum health

It is indeed important to practise good dental hygiene such as flossing the teeth regularly and brushing at least twice a day. However, it is equally crucial to keep our gums healthy. To do this, you can visit your dentist regularly for general maintenance of your gums. And if needed, deep cleaning with laser disinfection to reduce the anaerobic bacteria in the mouth.

3) Consume probiotics

3) Consume probiotics

Lactobacillus probiotics or “good bacteria” aids in digestion and makes the process of food and medication breakdown easier. It is known that oral administration of Lactobacillus improves bad breath and provides additional benefits that greatly improve your body’s health. Foods that contain Lactobacillus probiotics are yoghurt, miso soup and kimchi, just to name a few.

4) Drink plenty of water

Drink-plenty-of-water

4) Drink plenty of water

Besides preventing dry mouth, water, much like saliva, helps wash away food particles and bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. Furthermore, drinking water would also stimulate saliva secretion in the mouth, allowing the mouth to stay moist for longer periods of time.

5) Visit your dentist regularly

5) Visit your dentist
regularly

Be sure to see your dentist every 6 months to have your gums and teeth checked. Through professional help, any sign of anomalies would be detected and this could prevent any severe oral illnesses in the future.

Don’t ruin your chance for a second date and book an appointment with us now!

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References:

1. Probiotics: What is it, Benefits, Side Effects, Food & Types. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics

2. Robertson, R. (2020). 9 Ways Lactobacillus Acidophilus Can Benefit Your Health. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lactobacillus-acidophilus#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

3. Nasal, S. (2020). Mouth Breathing vs Nose breathing – Sinus & Nasal Specialists of Lousiana. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.sinusandnasalspecialists.com/mouth-breathing-vs-nose-breathing/

4. D, Wyatt Jr, A. (2020). Bad Breath Causes, Treatments, and Prevention. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/bad-breath#1

5. Xerostomia. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.aaom.com/index.php%3Foption=com_content&view=article&id=107:xerostomia&catid=22:patient-condition-information&Itemid=120#:~:text=The%20exact%20number%20of%20people,types%20of%20patient%20populations%20studied.

6. Top 5 Foods That Cause Bad Breath. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.listerine.com.my/top-5-foods-cause-bad-breath

7. Bad Breath Causes – American Dental Association. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/bad-breath#:~:text=Studies%20show%20that%2050%20percent,some%20point%20in%20their%20lives.

8. Campisi, G., Musciotto, A., Di Fede, O., Di Marco, V., & Craxì, A. (2011). Halitosis: could it be more than mere bad breath?. Internal and emergency medicine, 6(4), 315-319.

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