Halitosis Causes and Treatments
|By Dr. Harold Katz - Bad Breath Expert|
The Causes of Halitosis
Halitosis is a health condition characterized by chronic, long term bad breath. Halitosis is caused by anaerobic bacteria that breed beneath the surface of your tongue and sometimes in your throat and tonsils. The term “anaerobic” literally means living without air. These anaerobic bacteria do not require oxygen to live. In fact, they cannot survive in the presence of oxygen.
The bacteria that cause halitosis occur naturally in your oral environment. They are necessary because they assist your digestion by breaking down food proteins into amino acids. Proteins are not only found in food however. They are also commonly found in mucus, phlegm, blood and diseased oral tissue.
As the anaerobic bacteria feast on various proteins in your mouth, smelly, sulfur compounds are released from the back of your tongue and throat. The bacteria excrete waste as hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan and other odorous and bad tasting compounds known as volatile sulfur compounds. As the process of these bacteria feeding on proteins and excreting volatile sulfur compounds continues, your breath becomes worse and worse.
No one wants to have Halitosis and no one wants to smell it either. The fear of having halitosis has been with mankind since we started to walk upright. Offensive breath tells us that something is out of whack. In fact, anthropologists tell us that once humans started to kiss each other, the ability to smell one another’s breath became a very important way to test your partner’s compatibility. If the other person didn’t pass the smell test, they were not able to get to the next step towards securing a mate.
Humans are designed to have healthy, well balanced oral environments. In other words, people should not normally have halitosis. The oral cavity and throat is full of bacteria that have numerous functions. The bacteria that can cause halitosis perform the normal breakdown of proteins in foods that we eat and the normal breakdown of oral tissue as it regenerates. Saliva production is what balances the oral cavity. Saliva contains valuable oxygen to keep the anaerobic bacteria that cause halitosis from reproducing excessively.
For over a century, pharmaceutical companies were attempting to solve halitosis by using mouthwash that contained alcohol. This is the exact opposite of what should be done because alcohol is a drying agent. Alcohol based mouthwash dehydrates valuable saliva and leads to bad breath. Alcohol based mouthwash should be avoided. Toothpaste formulas contain a foaming agent known by the chemical term sodium lauryl sulfate. This is actually the scientific name for soap. Soap will also dry the mouth and less saliva equals less ability to fight bad breath.
In 1993, we started research on fighting bad breath by attacking the anaerobic bacteria through the use of patented oxygenating compounds. That research led to TheraBreath formulas which are now the #1 way to fight Halitosis.
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