What is halitosis:
If you’ve heard the word halitosis but aren’t quite sure what it is and whether there’s a treatment for halitosis, do not worry. We’ve got the nuts and bolts of it here.
Halitosis is another (maybe scarier) word for bad breath. It’s a widespread reality and affects over 100M in the US alone. Now, what can give you bad breath varies... Some moments during the day such as when you first wake up have you notice morning breath. Or you may notice mouth odor after eating a delicious, spicy, flavorful, or garlicky meal. Sipping on a sugary drink, coffee or your favorite adult beverage can also leave you with a smelly mouth. There are also other causes for bad breath, such as dry mouth, and you’ll learn that bad breath can be a sign of cavities, gum disease, and other oral care conditions. It’s always a good idea to bring it up with your dentist in case, if you’ve worried it’s related to a dental issue.
Now, let’s break it all down below and see what halitosis and bad breath is all about.
While many are embarrassed and worry by their halitosis, some don’t even know they have it. The truth is almost everyone experiences bad breath. And it’s totally normal. Because this can cause anxiety and stress, understanding what is actually producing the mouth odor can help us identify what to do to get rid of halitosis. And spoiler alert – there are solutions for bad breath available today.
To start: here’s a fun fact. The story goes that word halitosis was actually brought to market by George Lambert in 1921, son of the Listerine founder (ahh-ha!!!). So while bad breath existed long before then, it wasn’t known as halitosis.
Where's that smell coming from?
Pop quiz: what does a tuna fish sandwich, cavities and a mojito have in common?
The answer… They all could be giving you mouth odor, and causing that halitosis we all desperately want to avoid. Let’s go deeper into what’s actually going on. Halitosis or bad breath are words to describe the odor coming out of your mouth, which you experience in your breath. The reason tuna and having a cavity both make your mouth smell is because they help generate volatile sulfur compounds — these odorous molecules are responsible for halitosis. And they are created by the bacteria in your mouth.
And it doesn’t end with food and drinks. Certain behaviors or health conditions will also stimulate the bacteria in your mouth to make these stinky sulfur compounds, leading to halitosis.
A quick and important note. Don’t mess with the bacteria — it’s ok and even normal to have it. Your mouth, just like your stomach, has a microbiome that keeps everything functioning properly. This may sound frightening (but again, it’s absolutely normal) – in your mouth, there are billions of bacteria and hundreds of different species. Some of this bacteria is bad-breath producing bacteria, mainly found in the back of your throat, on or below your tongue, the back of the tongue, as well as your tonsils.
Bacteria... Now What Happens?
Ok… we all have lots of bacteria in our mouths- so what?
Well, bacteria are living microorganisms, and therefore they need to — you guessed it — eat. Once they are done eating, they produce waste compounds and these can stink and cause your mouth to smell. What’s happened during the creation of the smelly waste compounds is bad-breath causing bacteria breaks down proteins and mouth odor occurs because the amino acids in these proteins can contain sulfur compounds.
And what does bacteria eat, you may ask? Well, it’s the same as what you’re eating...
Foods can cause bad breath or halitosis, because that item of food either already contains sulfur compounds or they stimulate the bacteria to produce those volatile sulfur compounds that smell up your mouth and breath.
Some foods known to have high sulfur content and that are known to give you bad breath are: certain vegetables (garlic, onion, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli are a few examples), as well as foods high in protein (meats, fish, dairy, eggs), legumes (top of this list include black beans, soybeans, as well as kidney and black beans), dried fruit, certain nuts and seeds, acidic foods (think citrus or tomato products).
Sugar, soft drinks and processed foods are also causes for halitosis since they feed the bad breath producing bacteria. These also can lead to oral care issues such as tooth decay, plaque and gum disease, all which enable the halitosis producing bacteria additional tissue and places to lodge, therefore causing more bad breath.
Dry mouth: coffee, alcohol, smoking, cannabis, even medications and certain activities can dry out your mouth which as a result makes a perfect environment for the anaerobic sulfur producing bacteria to get to work, and produce the molecules that cause halitosis.
Interesting fact: Saliva is a natural mouth cleanser, and when you have dry mouth, you are not generating enough saliva. Side note: this can lead to additional oral care issues.
Dental issues: enlarged tonsils and tonsil stones, surgical wounds after oral surgery, tooth decay, gum disease or mouth sores can be blamed as a cause of bad breath. All these conditions give the odorous sulfur producing bacteria additional areas to hide and don’t help the halitosis cause. Instead, they make it worse.
Excess mucus from post nasal drip, caused by sinus, nose or throat issues may be a cause of halitosis. This is because the bacteria feeds on the protein found in this mucus, and (you probably guessed it) creates sulfur compounds.
And here’s a shocking revelation of 2 products found in your bathroom which you think are helping get rid of your bad breath… Most people couldn’t image the following would be a halitosis cause because these can give you dry mouth — gasp:
- mouthwash (if it contains alcohol)
- toothpaste (if it contains ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)
So now you know…
Is there a cure for bad breath?
You can now understand why today’s gums, mints and strips don’t work. They don't help with bad breath. They can’t do the job and get rid of halitosis or mouth odor, because they don’t get rid of the sulfur compounds. If you don't remove the sulfur compounds, you are not removing the odor in your mouth. When you consume one of these products (mints, gums, strips), the flavor you taste distracts you from the smell in your mouth, and tricks you into thinking that your bad breath is gone. The stinky truth is that those odorous sulfur compounds are still there, below the minty flavor. And when that flavor fades away, you will realize that and have to face the realization that your bad breath is still there. Plus, if you used a product with sugar in it, you actually made it worse and (horror) gave yourself more bad breath! Ugh :/ This is no good...
But there is good news! We’ve launched a product that gets rid of the sulfur compounds. It’s called Mouth Off, and is a dissolving gum, the first (and only) of its kind. Mouth Off is activated as you chew and binds to, deactivates and cleans away the sulfur compounds causing your bad breath. This means the sulfur compounds have been removed and are no longer there. We’re thinking this too — FINALLY!
We like to say “it all starts with clean breath”, because whether you’re going to work, meeting a special someone, wearing a mask, or hanging with your friends and family, you want CLEAN breath. Go on and live the life you want, without holding back. This also means that now you can enjoy the foods and drinks you love without the breath consequences. And the worry/ wondering around whether or not your breath smells ends now.
To learn about all the product benefits and formula, and to order Mouth Off click here.
You’ll never want to go another day without it!