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August 26 2010

Eliminating Stale Breath

Let’s Face it, stale breath is gross. I remember my girlfriend once had this awfully foul smell coming from her mouth. She was sleeping and didn’t know it. As much as I loved her – I have to tell you – that moment was slightly repulsive. Don’t worry, I got over it and our relationship certainly didn’t suffer. But, it was annoying.

Have you ever experienced someone else’s bad breath? I know you have, it is a common experience and you do not need to be around this planet very long to have your own (awful) experience with this. Just remember the last time and think about the strong impression it left on you. Just think about it.

I remember my father having lousy mouth-wash breath one time. (You have to watch out for those alcohol based mouthwashes). I was just a little kid but that breath of his, that I could smell from across the room, left a very, very powerful impression on me. Thirty years later – I still remember it, as evidenced by my writing about it now. Needless to say, the impression was a lasting one.

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I’m not saying that experiencing someone else’s stale breath will leave a scar on your psyche or anything like that, but, you know something like that is probably hurting you socially (if it’s you that has it). Do you think I wanted to stay in the same room with him at that point in time? You better believe I was looking for any excuse to move myself to another space in the house, so I could breathe!

You probably don’t want to suffer like that – I mean like my dad. He probably didn’t know that he had that awful breath and who knows who he ran into outside of the house.

Once you are able to defeat bad breath, your attention might turn to looking for some home teeth whitening. Why not? Most people are after that. But, we need to focus on those breath issues first.

There actually is a more important question to ask before facing the breath issue. That question is: how do you get rid of gingivitis? Gingivitis can eventually lead to tooth loss when it progresses to periodontal disease. And a bad breath problem may actually have its root in gingivitis / gum disease.

Some products should be avoided like the plague. First, as mentioned above, you have got to watch out for those alcohol-based mouthwashes. Not only can they actually drive people away from you, but they can also dry the mucous membranes of the mouth.

Dry mucous membranes make it easier for bacteria to make a home. Thereby possibly creating more bad breath. The whole purpose of mucous is to move matter out and away. Picture a running nose and you will get the idea. Mucous is there to clean, moisturize and rinse.

Sodium lauryl sulfates, or their cousins, which you will find in many toothpastes do the same thing. They can cause the mucous membranes to dry up the membranes aren’t as effective at doing their job. Think about how dish water, which is filled with soap, dries your hands. It is similar to the effect lauryl sulfates have inside your mouth. You may often find these in toothpaste. Next time you are in your bathroom, run down the list of ingredients in your toothpaste tube.

There are products available that don’t have these ingredients in them – alcohol and lauryl sulfates that is. You can find them if you look around a bit. There are some very unique alternatives. Try to find something that will still reduce the bacteria but without drying out the mucous membranes.

This article is for information only and not meant to prevent, treat or diagnose any condition. See your dentist for any oral health issues you may have.