We’ve all had the experience of speaking to somebody who has bad breath. It’s never a comfortable situation. Do you hand them a mint or do you try very hard to hold your breath for ten second increments and get out of there as fast as possible? Especially hard is when that person is your friend or your loved one. You’ve just got to let them know – you’re their friend, dammit. It’s your duty.

Well, medical and dental science is now making bad breath, or halitosis, a top priority. Last week, nearly 200 scientists attended the International Conference on Breath Odor Research in Chicago. Attendees included dentists, chemists, microbiologists, psychologists and even flavor researchers. The topics of the conference included causes of bad breath, studies on the most effective natural flavors for treating it, the development of an artificial nose for sniffing out oral malodor, and links between exhaled air and disease.

O.k., bravo, bravo, for finally understanding that bad breath is a health issue. It’s true that some bad breath issues come from poor oral hygiene; however, I am convinced that many cases of severe bad breath – halitosis – come from deep in the digestive system. I’ve met a few people in my travels who couldn’t cover their bad breath with chewing gums or mints, no matter how hard they tried. That’s a internal issue. In these cases, I believe it stems from one of three things:

  1. The person is ingesting a food substance, usually something they eat regularly, that he or she cannot properly digest.
  2. The person is on drugs or medications that dry out the mouth.
  3. The person has another underlying disease
Either way, it is necessary to look into the issue. If you find that you have chronic bad breath, or that no one wants to be around you, make note of any medications you’re taking and discuss it with your doctor. Get checked out by your doctor for any illness, especially if their are other accompanying symptoms, like bloating, gas, pain, diarrhea, or anything else. And finally, start eliminating foods categorically to find the offending agent. I assure you if you go on the hunt, you’ll find the problem and reverse it.

2 Responses to Never A Pleasant Situation

  1. GlamSpirit says:

    I agree, Dr. C. In my experience (halitosis or not) most of us have blocked digestive systems. I explored a variety of cleansing options a few years ago and have changed my diet (no processed foods, or refined sugars or flour) and I think this makes a tremendous difference.

  2. Ah, sounds good. Thanks for the tips.

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