Bad Breath

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Before finding the cure to halitosis, we must first understand the underlying causes of bad breath, also known in medical terms as halitosis. Yet it must be understood that the condition known as halitosis is notably different than chronic halitosis, in that chronic halitosis is caused by conditions that include gingivitis and gum disease. In contrast, halitosis is caused by a variety of less invasive factors and are determined by the foods and beverages we drink, dry mouth and most commonly, poor dental hygiene. If brushing and flossing does not become a daily habit, food that collects on the tongue and between teeth may begin to rot and as particles of food remain in the mouth, they increasingly collect bacteria and are ultimately responsible for causing bad breath.

According the American Dental Association (ADA) Website, garlic and onions are not the only foods that cause bad breath; foods and beverages that are known to cause the problem also include broccoli, alcohol, milk and even popcorn.

Poor Jill, her movie dates must have wanted to take the popcorn back to the stand. As soon as the food becomes absorbed in the bloodstream it is then transported to the lungs, where the smell of the food is expelled into the air through your skin; this is most commonly the effect of garlic and the process is thought to explain why the odor of garlic stays with us days after consuming it. Mouthwash will only mask the odor temporarily; the odors disappear only when the body eliminates the food.

The most acute cases of halitosis are caused by periodontis, or gum disease. Checking gums for signs of irritation or swelling is highly recommended. Gum disease is mainly a result of poor dental hygiene; the infrequency of brushing and flossing causes bacteria to build...