With Halloween less than a week away, the holiday season has begun. Soon after, Thanksgiving will be upon us and then Hanukah, Christmas and New Years. While this festive time marks a time for many families to come together to celebrate with some food, music and revelry, it may also increase the risk of bad breath.
Food is the central theme that runs through all of these holidays. It would be one thing if these celebrations focused on healthier items. Then the risk for halitosis might not be so high. However, most turn into festivals of indulgence. People tend to consume rich, protein-heavy meats, endless amounts of sweets and heaping helpings of deserts, all of which are known to contribute to bad breath.
It starts with Halloween. Children are encouraged to swarm their neighborhoods in search of candy hauls. Consumption of chocolate and other sweets rises dramatically during this time of year. Consequently, dentists report sharp increases in the number of cavities they treat. And the problem isn't confined to children. Adults also fall prey to treats left around the office. This can have a harmful on oral health and contribute to halitosis.
Shortly after Halloween comes Thanksgiving, the traditional beginning of the holiday seasons. Most of us use this day simply as an excuse to pig out. The ubiquitous turkey is the top item on the menu that is likely to cause bad breath. The digestion of protein releases volatile sulfur compounds, which are the most common cause of halitosis. A meal that is heavy on protein may increase the release of these molecules.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukah, chances are there is a substantial meal involved. For many people, these parties include plenty of desserts. While pecan pie and caramel ganache may spell winter celebrations for you, these types of foods are also high in sugar, which may stick to the surfaces of your mouth and increase oral bacteria.
While these holiday dangers are very real, they shouldn't ruin your enjoyment of these occasions. There are steps you can take to safeguard your oral health and reduce your risk of halitosis. For example, the specialty breath freshening products from TheraBreath may negate much of the damage caused holiday-related food consumption.