Snooki constantly worries about her bad breath. The former "Jersey Shore" star revealed to Star Pulse that she never leaves the house without a pack of mint chewing gum. And with good reason.
Snooki, whose real name is Nicole Polizzi, says that her fiancée Jionni LaValle often pokes fun at her that she has halitosis, or foul mouth odor.
"I'm never without minty gum so it feels like I just brushed my teeth," Polizzi told US Magazine. "Jionni always tells me my breath smells. So I'm paranoid."
Currently, she has a 14-month-old son Lorenzo with Jionni, and after a long day of parenting she wants to be sure she smells as good as possible, so she keeps the minty refreshment in her handbag.
Unfortunately, her delectable breath was not enough to keep her on ABC's hit show "Dancing with the Stars." After a zombie rendition on Oct. 27, her and her partner Sasha Farber were sent packing. The judges enjoyed it, but something was off.
Perhaps she was chewing the wrong gum. Or, maybe she was just a bit too stressed out. After all, stress leaves your mouth rotten with stink. That's because hyperventilating, or inhaling and exhaling excessively, is a natural symptom of anxiety. If you enter a meeting with your boss, take a difficult test or are on a nationally-broadcasted TV show in which you attempt to dance like Beyonce, your mouth dries up. On average, we produce 1.5 liters of saliva during the day, yet when we get stressed, that amount drops sharply. Saliva acts as a natural cleansing agent, washing down bacteria bits. A dry mouth means more bacteria build-up, which translates into a stinky mouth.
It is also possible that the zombie Snooki forgot to eat before the show. Skipping meals can contribute to bad breath, since saliva slows down between eating periods - chewing gets the muscles in the mouth up and running. Good thing fiancée Jionni wasn't backstage to notify Snooki about her breath.
How much does gum help?
Chewing gum stimulates salivary flow that helps neutralize acids that are produced when food is broken down. Besides rinsing off cavity-causing anaerobic bacteria, increased saliva production carries calcium and phosphate to strengthen tooth enamel. The American Dental Association says that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating a meal can help prevent tooth decay. Look for gum that contains xylitol, which helps cut down bacteria by as much as 90 percent. This reduces dental plaque and can even help fight gingivitis.
Substitute for brushing?
No, gum does not replace the benefits of brushing. It is supplementary. Dentists recommend that you brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. Together, good dental hygiene habits and gum can help alleviate bad breath.
Snooki may need a change of pace. Some gum provides temporary relief from halitosis by masking its effects, while others can grant a longer term freshness. According to research funded by the Wrigley Corporation, flavored gum is shown to decrease foul-odor producing bacteria in the mouth. Subjects chewing gum that contains cinnamon oil experienced a drop in saliva-based bacteria responsible for bad breath. Conversely, participants who chewed unflavored gum exhibited saliva that had the same amount of anaerobic bacteria as the beginning of the experiment. Those who chewed flavors other than cinnamon demonstrated a 40 percent reduction in bad breath bacteria.
If you're sick of the routine packs of gum in the check-out line, try out TheraBreath's chewing gum, which contains anti-bacterial agents such as xylitol and zinc gluconate.