No one wants bad breath!
In fact, it’s one of the top “deal-breakers” for people going on first dates. If you meet someone, you may like everything about this. But if you’re getting close to their face and trying to be romantic, no one wants a whiff of bad breath.
A poll recently released in the Daily Mail by Jane Symons found that one in nine people worry about our breath, although no one knows how many people actually suffer from the chronic condition halitosis.
But people are frustrated. It’s a difficult issue to find the cause and cure. It’s not always coffee and smoking that cause bad breath, contrary to popular myths. But what scientists do know is that the levels of volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs), that the foul-smelling gases and toxins that cause bad breath, are twice as high in people with periodontal problems compared to those without these complications.
There are three forms of halitosis according to NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (for the United Kingdom):
- Transient: Temporarily following digestion of smelly foods
- Pathological: From gum disease and poor oral hygiene
- Psychosomatic halitosis: Occurs when one is convinced of odor without real symptoms
The best way to manage bad breath is by seeing an oral health professional to check underlying periodontal problems. Being too aggressive with tongue scrapers and masking agents such as chewing gum can do more harm than good.
Stick to antiseptic mouthwashes. According to Professor Robin Seymour, Emeritus Professor of Dental Sciences at Newcastle University, avoid alcohol (overuse can cause oral cancer) and stick to the two most popular mouth-wash ingredients: chlorhexidine (CHX) and cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC). Be warned that CHX may interfere with tastebuds and will stain your teeth. Another additional ingredient often overlooked is essential oils.