International Kissing Day on July 6 was established in 2006 to celebrate the passion between lovers. Pucker up and enjoy the kisses, that’s the objective of the day; however, over 30% of the population are undesirable kissers. It has nothing to do with their experience or technique, the reason is very simple: bad breath. According to statistics, one-third of the entire world’s population has chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis. Have you ever considered this issue as a potential reason for your dating failures?
What are the causes of bad breath?
Bad breath or halitosis is commonly attributed to volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) that are released when bacteria in the mouth metabolise food debris. In 90% of cases, halitosis originates in the oral cavity, although 10% of patients have bad breath due to gastrointestinal, urinary, or respiratory system diseases.
Poor oral hygiene is the most common reason for bad breath, but sometimes, even those with good tooth-cleaning habits can fall victim. Dentures and braces make cleaning the teeth more challenging, and food particles missed during brushing can decay and cause odour. Appliances that are not properly fitted might be a cause of sores and mouth infections too.
Conditions that cause a dry mouth may also increase the likelihood of bad breath. Saliva naturally washes the particles of food from the mouth, regulates the oral micro-environment, and keeps the breath fresh. When the quantity of saliva is reduced, bacteria in the mouth grow faster.
Surprising causes of halitosis
It is no surprise to most of us that diet can also be a trigger for stinky breath. Ingredients such as garlic make your breath smell because of the sulphuric compounds they contain. Even brushing and rinsing the teeth will only hide the odour temporarily. Red meat can worsen the smell of your breath because small bits of protein trapped between the teeth may decay, creating odours. Plus, many of us find it difficult to start the day without the obligatory cup of coffee, but this aromatic beverage can result in a lingering smell. Luckily, it’s temporary.
Secondly, it’s important to be careful when following a healthy lifestyle. Fasting and low-carbohydrate diets, although good for keeping the body in shape, might cause “ketone breath”. When the body is burning fat and using it as an energy source, the by-product of these chemical reaction is ketone, which are responsible for a fruity, acetone-like odour on the breath.
Finally, health supplements may also be unfavourable for the breath. Replacing garlic with garlic pills to avoid ‘garlic breath’? This trick doesn’t work because the odour is a result of one of the ingredients of garlic – allicin. When your body digests the pill, allicin gets into the blood, and is then released through sweat and exhaled air. Also, although extremely popular, Omega-3 supplements can make the breath smell fishy or rotten, especially if taken in excess.
Do I have a bad breath?
Lots of us struggle with this question and it feels awkward to ask someone else. So, how to find out whether your breath smells fresh or not? Before you start nervously analysing people’s reactions every time you open your mouth, know that there are some simple ways to find out. This fun online guide may encourage you to try some serious self-checks.
Test your breath here: https://dentaldirect.co.uk/quiz
• The lick test – lick your wrist with the back part of your tongue, let it dry for 15 seconds, and then smell it. This is, approximately, the smell that other people will detect on your breath.
• Ask a dentist – it’s easier to ask your doctor about personal issues than your nearest-and-dearest, and you may feel less ashamed to pose the question “Do I have halitosis?” than the more straightforward “Do I have a bad breath?”
• A halimeter – yes! Technology can help you with this issue! There are special devices, called halimeters, that measure levels of volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) in the mouth.
The best ways to treat halitosis
With a toothbrush, it is only possible to access the visible parts of the teeth, which is about 60% of their surface. It’s very important to clean between your teeth either by using an interdental brush or floss. Wisdom Fresh Effect is an expanding floss fills gaps for more effective cleaning, and the intense mint flavour gives you the ultimate fresh breath experience.
For those who find flossing too difficult there are always Wisdom Clean Between Interdental Brushes, a modern day tooth pick of sorts. The flexible, soft rubber sticks slide easily between the teeth, whilst the bristles massage and stimulate the gums, helping to remove plaque and food particles. Interdental brushes come in a variety of sizes, so it’s a good idea to ask your dentist which size is best for you.
Most people are aware of benefits of using mouthwash, however most mouthwash simply mask the smell for a short period of time. To address the root causes we would recommend the unique formulation of Perio-Aid Mouthwash Active Control which helps to significantly reduce the build-up of plaque. This mouthwash can be used to assist in the treatment of gingivitis, periodontitis, receding gums and tooth decay.
Another extremely efficient weapon against bad breath is the tongue cleaner or scraper. This item is not yet commonplace in our bathrooms because traditional oral care has focused on the cleaning of teeth only. However, bacteria find the tongue a really friendly environment for growth. That is why it so important to manually remove the bacterial film and food debris that build up on it. The Halita Tongue Cleaner is specifically designed to reach the most inaccessible areas, including the V-shaped groove, and the sides of the tongue.
The intelligent iQ+ ActiveOxi technology of ultraDEX Fresh Breath Spray is ideal for use away from the home, delivering instant fresh breath, lasting up to 12 hours. The advanced ultraDEX formula eliminates odour-causing Volatile Sulphur Compounds, and the clean mint scent gives you a pleasant-smelling mouth and the confidence to keep smiling.