Mouth a construction zone for bad-breath bacteria
"Why do we have bad breath?" asked a young patron from the Wauconda Area Library.
Smelly armpits, smelly diapers, smelly breath. Body aromas can burst into a gamy bloom when bacteria enter the scene.
The easiest fix is soap and water, but when it comes to bad breath, soap in the mouth just doesn't wash. Mouth odor can make the mouth owner and those nearby queasy.
Businesses generate big bucks from breath smell remedies; the top 10 mouthwash brands generated $1 billion in income last year to minimize halitosis -- the medical term for bad breath.
Why do we have bad breath? It's certain most people will wake up with mouth odor at some time in their lives. Upper respiratory and stomach illnesses can cause bad breath, as well as some medications and diseases. Certain foods, alcohol, smoking and vaping also brew bad breath. After all, we are what we eat, drink and smoke.
Morning bad breath comes from bacteria. A study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene blames the mouth for 90 percent of all bad breath. Brushing teeth and gums, flossing and tongue scraping can help make clean, smell-free breath.
No matter how sparkly clean your mouth is when you hit the hay, bacteria can still find abundant particles to feast on, including mucus, since there's little saliva production during sleep to sweep them away. Overnight, the mouth is a construction zone for bacteria as they tirelessly work to break down sulphur-containing amino acids and create smelly sulfur compounds.
Need to combat morning bad breath? The morning bad breath study conducted by scientists from the Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam and other universities set out to determine if sipping or drinking water can help wash away the sulfur compounds and minimize breath odor. After testing the morning breath in 50 patients and taking sulfur compounds measurements, scientific results proved that sipping or drinking water will wash away bad smelling, sulphur-causing bacteria.
Still the most effective defense is the easiest -- brush teeth and gums twice a day and floss. Visit the dentist twice a year to make sure your mouth is healthy, so your breath transforms from smelly to smell-free.
Thank you!Kids Ink readers: It's been an incredible journey writing Kids Ink for the past 25 years. I am honored to have been the benefactor of a community of young readers with ceaseless curiosity. It's now time for me to file my last Kids Ink column and move on to other activities. I'd like to express my most sincere gratitude to the Daily Herald for supporting Kids Ink, to the readers, to area librarians, and to the experts in nearly every field who graciously provided their comments.