What is halitosis, and why is it so embarrassing?
SUMMARY: Most people have bad breath at one point or another, so why is it so humiliating when you get oral odor around co-workers, friends or people you want to impress? And for that matter, what is halitosis in the first place?
Posted: October 24, 2011
Most people have bad breath at one point or another, so why is it so humiliating when you get oral odor around co-workers, friends or people you want to impress? And for that matter, what is halitosis in the first place?
Fortunately for anyone with a chronic case of oral odor, bad breath is no mystery. In most cases, it comes from one or two simple sources in the mouth, and getting rid of it can be a snap, provided you find the right kind of specialty breath care products.
Recently, the UK Mirror explained that one in four Britons have halitosis. While that ratio may not seem so bad - most breath care experts place the true prevalence of bad breath at 50 percent, at minimum - the newspaper's treatment of the condition is sport-on.
"The bacteria in your mouth break down food particles, releasing a smelly gas. Gum disease can also cause bad breath," the news source explained. That pretty much covers it. Around 90 percent of oral odor can be attributed to bacteria in the mouth.
But what is halitosis, anyway? Bacteria aren't simply intensifying the smells of the foods you eat, after all. So what are they doing? Essentially, the microbes in your mouth are sharing your lunch and then taking a bathroom break on your tongue and palate. The smell of halitosis comes from sulfur-based compounds that are a byproduct of these microorganisms' digestion.
Of course, more than one bodily odor can be attributed to bacteria. The UK newspaper noted that stinky feet and flatulence are also caused by microbial growth. In fact, if you get halitosis after eating a soft cheese, your breath is reminiscent of foot odor for good reason.
According to an article appearing in the British Medical Journal, the same bacterium responsible for smelly feet can be found in soft cheeses like Brie and Limburger. Even if your bad breath isn't especially cheesy, you may be wondering: what is halitosis doing to my social life?
Most etiquette experts agree that oral odor is a killer when it comes to making and keeping friends. While no one is quite sure why humans find halitosis so offensive, some evolutionary biologists think that the odor may act as a signal that someone is unhygienic or even ill.
If you have problematic halitosis, try using a specialty rinse, a tongue scraper or even a Blis K12 Probitotics Kit to clean your mouth and freshen your breath.