Causes of Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bacteria and Bad Breath

In addition to the foods you eat with strong odors (e.g., onions and garlic), a major source of bad breath is the bacterial load in your mouth. There are billions of bacteria in your mouth. When you eat, you are not only feeding your body, you are also feeding the bacteria in your mouth. The usual doubling time for well-fed bacteria is 20 minutes. Anaerobic bacteria, which do not metabolize oxygen, are a main source for producing Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSC) which cause bad breath (halitosis). Anaerobic bacteria, which do not metabolize oxygen, give off volatile sulfur compounds. These bacteria thrive on dense protein foods (dairy, fish, meat, eggs, nuts and beans), sugars, and acidic foods and drinks (sodas, coffee, juices, fatty meals).

Another key source of bad breath is the nose [1]. In this incidence, the air leaving the nostrils has an overpowering odor that’s different from the oral odor. Nasal odor can also be due to sinus infections or other foreign bodies.

Dry Mouth

Saliva is used to wash away bacteria and food so bad breath problems also occur if saliva production is decreased. Decreased saliva (dry mouth) occurs when sleeping with an open mouth or snoring, consuming alcohol, and smoking. A primary culprit for dry mouth are most prescription and allergy drugs as well as and many over the counter drugs which have dry mouth as a side effect.

Effective Ingredients

Reducing volatile sulfur compounds and bacterial levels with natural ingredients are the two keys for reducing bad breath. Zinc captures and eliminates volatile sulfur compounds so products with zinc work exceptionally well. There are certain natural ingredients which help reduce bacterial levels to control halitosis.Essential oils, such as peppermint, actually are natural anti-bacterials. However, the amount of essential oils in gums and after dinner mints are quite low and thus not too effective; in addition, candy mints will just supply more food for bacterial growth. Xylitol is a sugar that is not metabolized by bacteria so that when bacteria ingest xylitol, it will not promote bacterial growth. Thus, having xylitol is a beneficial feature

Oral Health

Reducing bacteria for persons with bad breath and for those with dry mouth has an additional benefit – better oral health. Dental plaque is at the heart of oral health problems ranging from inflamed and bleeding gums (gingivitis) and extensive inflammation and bleeding/receding gums (periodontitis). Periodontitis results inloss of teeth. In addition, bacteria is the cause of cavities since cavities are formed from the acid secretions of bacteria on the teeth.

Dentiva is an exceptional product for bad breath since it contains zinc for capturing VSC as well as xylitol and peppermint for reducing the amount of bacterial in the mouth.

Additional Benefits

In addition to fighting halitosis, Dentiva offers oral health benefits. With xylitol and peppermint, it reduces bacteria which is the basis for plaque formation. Plaque results in gingivitis (inflamed and bleeding gums) and periodontitis (advanced gum disease, leading to loss of teeth). In addition, our product also releases an ingredient to neutralize acids from bacteria (e.g., lactic acid) which can dissolve the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities. Thus, Dentiva fights cavities. Dentiva also contains calcium to help remineralize teeth.

A Final Word

dentist is correct – the main defense in fighting bacteria is brushing and flossing your teeth. However, in our busy lives – whether at work, school, or on dates, it is often not feasible to brush. Mouth washes help reduce bacteria, but, like brushing your teeth, it is very seldom feasible to carry a mouthwash for all those occasions away from home. Some of the mouth washes contain anti-bacterials and some contain essential oils, often with alcohol. For fighting bad breath, some mouth washes contain zinc. Non-sugar chewing gum is another alternative which can help for those who enjoy chewing gum when it is feasible to do so, depending upon the social situation. The preferred product is the long acting lozenge, Dentiva, which contain essential oils and xylitol for reducing bacterial levels, zinc for fighting halitosis, and an ingredient to neutralize cavity promoting acids.