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Halitosis: Cure Your Chronic Bad Breath Today
Bad breath is something common to everyone at one point or another in their life, even those who brush and floss religiously. We all know that those who eat garlic will smell like it afterwards, but other times the realization that our breath is offensive comes on us unawares. So what causes it, and how can you avoid it?
The scientific name, "halitosis", meaning "a condition of the breath" was coined by the Listerine company, and refers to any unpleasant odors you might exhale from your mouth.
The odors are caused by anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria in the mouth. Because anaerobic bacteria live without air (indeed, they're poisoned by oxygen), they generally live just under the surface of the tongue and throat. They help us to break down the proteins in certain foods and clear our mouths of diseased tissue, and there's no way to eliminate them from our mouths.
However, certain conditions put the bacteria into overdrive, and they end up releasing "volatile sulfur compounds" which have a very disagreeable odor. The only way to treat bad breath is to stop the bacteria from producing VSCs, or by chemically altering them into something that doesn't smell so bad.
Breath mints, breath sprays and chewing gum only mask the odor with something more pungent; unfortunately they also generally provide the bacteria with more sugars and proteins to fuel rapid growth and VSC production.
Dry mouth eliminates oxygen-carrying saliva, helping the bacteria to thrive. Post-nasal drip coats them with a protein-rich food source. Of course, high-protein foods, sugars and alcohols provide them with a growth medium, but high-acid foods like coffee also promote reproduction. Milk and dairy products will not be digested if you are lactose-intolerant, and so can also provide a long-lasting food source for the bacteria.
One of the few treatments that has been shown to work over the long term are those containing the active ingredient Oxyd-VIII, invented by Dr. Harold Katz and used in TheraBreath products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, sprays, gums and mints. This substance adds oxygen to the mouth environment, which converts the foul-smelling sulfide and mercaptan compounds into sulfate, which have no odor or taste.
To find out more about the causes and treatments for bad breath, visit http://www.badbreath-halitosis.info
About the Author: Written by Jim McDonald, a contributing writer for http://www.badbreath-halitosis.info, an informative website about Halitosis and the cure.