We've all had bad breath at some point, and regardless of whether it happens on a date, at work or at home, it can be mortifying. Yet, since the experience of halitosis is something we all have in common, you'd think people would share more than dirty looks when they smell someone's oral odor.
Technically, people with and without bad breath have much more in common than they might realize. Halitosis does not exist in a vacuum. Other than the odors caused by pungent foods, most forms of bad breath come from extremely common dental conditions, some of which you may have right now.
Do you have cavities? Plaque? Red or swollen gums? A white-coated tongue? If you do, you share characteristics with one-half of the participants in a study conducted at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
Researchers there found that the most common sign of halitosis was a coated tongue, which approximately 40 percent of all participants had. Volunteers also suffered from tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontal disease, which is a deep infection that pulls the gums away from the teeth.
So, while you may not have halitosis right this moment, it's likely that you have some of its contributing factors. Do you have a toothbrush, specialty breath freshening rinse or oral care probiotics kit handy?