Having good hygiene is very important in life. It shows respect not only for other people but also for you. One area of physical hygiene that often gets neglected involves our mouth. Health professionals have long recognized bad breath (halitosis) as a potential indicator of bad health. Bad breath affects 80 percent of the world’s population at one time or another. It can cause depression, frustration, and embarrassment. It can even harm our career. For example, a dentist named Ana Christina Kolbe stated in the Brazilian business magazine Exame, “It is no exaggeration to say that bad breath harms many careers.” Additionally, an executive work recruiter named Leandro Cerdeira said, “In severe cases people lose one job after another without ever understanding what the real problem is.” So this problem, if left unchecked, can have a dramatic effect on our livelihood.

What causes bad breath? With the help of modern technology, scientists have learned much about our breath. For example, according to the magazine Scientific American, “researchers have now isolated nearly 400 volatile organic compounds in normal human breath.” Not all these compounds produce offensive odors, though. The main culprits in bad breath are hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan. These gases give a breath smell that is very similar to the odor of a skunk.

The human mouth also houses more than 300 species of bacteria. They feed on particles of food, dead cells, and other matter found in the mouth. The activity of these bacteria, in turn, produces foul-smelling gases; similar to rotting garbage. So, in essence, bad breath comes about by means of this decomposing organic matter. What are some symptoms for bad breath? There are physical conditions like excessive belching, diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease, menstruation, and some types of cancer, to name just a few, that can cause bad breath. So we may not have the control we wish to have in fighting bad breath.

How can you prevent bad breath? It cannot simply be corrected by chewing gum or by sucking on a mint; much more is necessary. Remember, bad breath involves bacteria so if we have tiny bits of food in our mouth there will be an endless supply of food for them to keep living. We have to reduce the food particles and plaque caught between our teeth which will effectively reduce the population of bacteria.

What are some effective bad breath remedies? One step that is vital is by flossing regularly; at least once a day. Have you ever noticed that after a few days without flossing how much build up there is between your teeth? Another necessary step is brushing our teeth after each meal and before bed. Commercial mouthwashes can help as well, but studies have shown that we should not rely on them to fight bad breath. Some of these mouthwashes can reduce plaque, but only by 28 percent; so more is definitely required.

Dentists also recommend regular brushing of the upper surface of the tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush as a remedy for bad breath. Some experts even recommend using a tongue scraper. Interestingly, in the country of India, people have used tongue scrapers for generations as a way to get rid of bad breath.

Bad breath will affect every one of us at some point in our life. The steps outlined above show us how to lose bad breath. If we do what we can to preserve good oral hygiene now, we will not only feel good about ourselves but others will feel good about having us around as well.

Author's Bio: 

Michael has been working in the medical field as an EMT for the last 16 years and has been a consultant for the health and wellness firm, Immunotec, since October 2008. His goal is to educate you regarding ways to ensure that your health reaches an optimum level and it stays that way. If you would like to comment on this article and others like it please visit My Blog . If you would like to learn more about or purchase some products mentioned in the article please visit the Product Page.