NeemFirst Blog

halitosis cause, I: bacteria in the mouth, set c
17 October 2007, 5:02 am
Filed under: bacteria, bad breath, halitosis, oral+health+care | Tags: , ,

Halitosis Odors Produced by Bacteria
Out of the 700 possible types of bacteria inhabiting the mouth, and the three difinitive bacteria identified as producing halitosis, there are two main odors produced by and affiliated with halitosis: the sulphur gases methyl mercaptan (a “barn-yard” smell) and hydrogen sulfide (a “rotten-egg” smell). At some doctors’ and dentists’ offices, you can measure the amount of volatile sulphur gases (VCSs) produced by the rate of decay of bacteria with a Halimeter. It’s an excellent way to measure of halitosis, and Periodontal Disease, too, since these gases are common for both PD and halitosis.

Persistence of Halitosis 
If you’ve ever had halitosis, you know that most often, the halitosis smell always returns, no matter how effectively and diligently you clean your mouth and the bacteria. Why? Because the bacteria always grows back. The halitosis comes back. So the question that arises is: if the bacteria causing halitosis is only in the mouth (according to experts) and the halitosis-causing bacteria continues to return, then there must be other components (beyond the condition of the mouth) contributing to the long-term halitosisHalitosis may end up in your mouth, but is that where it starts? Is halitosis in fact a symptom of other conditions and environments?

Tomorrow: Environment of Halitosis, and Halitosis and Vitamins


halitosis cause, I: bacteria in the mouth, set b

Where Do These Halitosis-Causing Bacteria Live?
Halitosis causing bacteria lives mostly in crevices between the bumpy ridges way on the back of the tongue. BUT, they also permeate the rest of the mouth: gums, plaque, cheeks, etc. To get rid of the odors of halitosis, treat the entire mouth. To battle halitosis, flossing and brushing 2x per day, and using a non-alcoholic mouthwash, such as neem mouthwash at NeemFirst, is not enough to thoroughly eliminate bacteria. (Although, the neem mouthwash has the added benefit of being a super-duper herbal anti-bacterial and natural fungicide, too! – won’t dry out your mouth from alcohols, and excellent for halitosis.)
Get a good tongue and cheek scraper, regular dental checkups, etc. I’m sure you’ve heard this all before. But these tools are essential, especially since a toothbrush is not designed to access the crevices in the tongue, where the halitosis-causing bacteria thrives. It’s the wrong tool for the job! To boot, trying to use your toothbrush to get at the halitosis-causing bacteria living in the very back portion of your tongue could also have you gagging at the sink.

Tomorrow: Halitosis Odors Produced by Bacteria, and Persistence of Halitosis 

halitosis cause, I: bacteria in the mouth

Halitosis from Bacteria
Halitosis is commonly attributed to malodor created by bacteria. Specifically, halitosis is attributed to bacteria in the mouth. Experts attribute between 85-90% of halitosis to sources in the mouth. In the human population, there are 700 possible germs that may decide to set up shop in your mouth, and may or may not produce halitosis.  Of these, only 300 are known to scientists. The average person has 75 – 100 of these germs inhabiting their mouth and contributing to / or fighting halitosis. To date, six types of bacteria (SIX!) have been linked to halitosis, and three of those were absent in fresh breath! 1

Which means that scientists have possibly narrowed the field of halitosis bacteria to three. (Of course, they have 300 more types of bacteria to investigate. But still; it’s good odds. Which also means that those three are some powerful nasty buggers.) 
Why do I write that bacteria also fights halitosis? Because there’s good and bad bacteria, just like the witches of Oz. Similar intrinsic qualities, with totally different results, and often at cross-purposes. In proper proportions, the good bacteria will choke the halitosis causing bacteria out of real estate and favorable conditions. Of course, the opposite is true, too. The halitosis producing bacteria can shove the good bacteria out of the neighborhood just as fast. Your body is a constant war-zone; territorial battles every day. And what you do to assist that battle against halitosis can make a difference. Every day.

1 Bruce Paster, Forsyth Institute in Boston and the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. ABC, “Bad Breath and the Battle of Bacteria,” Gary Gately, 2007.

Tomorrow:  Where Do These Halitosis-Causing Bacteria Live?

Halitosis and ACV, II

I received a comment to the entry titled Halitosis and ACV, so I thought others may want to see the additional explanation.
Q: Will ACV be able to freshen your breath effectively? Or do they just mask the smell of bad breath? Also what kind of toxins are you referring to?
A:ACV doesn’t freshen ones breath or mask halitosis, so much as kill the culprits causing or worsening BAD breath or halitosis. It works primarily by killing bad yeast and balancing PH, in addition to its ability to “pull” toxins from the mouth and throat.
ACV improves halitosis because drinking the ACV cocktail solution improves the balance of flora in the gut, which is not only essential to getting rid of halitosis, but also for general health and disease prevention.  A balanced PH and making sure that the body isn’t compromised by battling excess yeast is an important step to make sure the body is capable of efficiently fighting the bacteria causing halitosis. Much of the coating on the tongue and in the mouth stems from the gut. Improve the flora in the mouth and gut, and it will be much more difficult for halitosis, bacteria and other “bad smell” generators, to inhabit and set up shop. That’s the most critical reason for using ACV in treating halitosis.
The toxins I referred to in the post are just general toxins. The more toxic a body, the more likely to have bad breath or halitosis. At the very least, the more toxic a body, the more the body is occupied in protecting the body from toxins instead of healing the cause of halitosis
Toxins come in all forms. Yeast creates toxins, the body’s functions and bi-products create and attempt to expel toxins. The human body is all about functioning and keeping it toxin-free.  Halitosis itself could be a bi-product of the body trying to detoxify, as it is a common symptom during detox programs.
The skin, lungs, kidneys, and liver all have the primary function of removing and/or excreting toxins…whatever they may be…whatever the body can’t process or may be harmful to the body’s functions.
ACV also cuts down on environments that encourage bacterial and fungal growth, thus cuts down on halitosis. Mucous, for example, is a big harbinger of toxins and bacteria, and ACV cuts through mucous supremely well, thus removing prime real estate where bacteria, yeast, etc. would typically dwell. Sinus infections, ie mucous, has often been suggested as a reason for halitosis, which will be addressed in a separate post.

halitosis: what really causes it?

What a good question. What IS the real cause of halitosis? According to reports and medical opinions I’ve read documenting the root causes of halitosis, the reasons vary. Everyone has a different opinion, and no one truely agrees on the cause: there’s only one cause of halitosis – no, there’s multiple causes; halitosis is all about the mouth – no, it’s the sinuses, or the GI tract, or….
Obviously, there’s a lot of dissension about how and why halitosis exists. And therefore, there’s not much clarity or solidarity about  halitosis solutions.
Sure, everyone agrees that bacteria is somehow involved, and better oral health care is required – cleanings, brushing, flossing, toungue and cheek scraping. But if you or someone you know has ever had halitosis, you know that the extra effort – and less oral bacteria – doesn’t necessarily make a difference in improving the abhorred malodor associated with halitosis.
So if the standard of “brush more & gargle” doesn’t work, what do you do?
Over the next couple of days, I’m going to summarize the differing opinions and documentation on the true cause of halitosis. Perhaps you’ll see something you haven’t read before, and have new options to banish halitosis from your life forever.

halitosis and foods, pt.II

Foods can help you get rid of halitosis. Please read the entry “Halitosis and foods, pt. I” for the first portion of this post.

Teas for Better Breath & Digestion
For teas, drink peppermint tea, fennel tea, and ginger tea. Each will improve your digestive system as well as halitosis. And since some experts are of the opinion that halitosis is caused by issues in the digestive system, you should do whatever you can to improve it. I’m of the same opinion, which is why I recommend getting rid of the excess yeast in the body and digestive tract.
Foods to Run From
Other foods to stay away from include pastrami, salami, and pepperoni due to the spices (essential oils) used; Camembert, Roquefort, and blue cheese; fermented dairy; sugar; alcohol; most mints and alcohol mouthwashes; some fish like anchovies and tuna; coffee.
Some Alternatives to Keep your Breath Sweet
An alternative to mints (which can also dry out your breath and worsen halitosis) is to use peppermint oil. One drop on the tongue is all you need.
Instead of sugar (which feeds yeast and bacteria), check out xylitol, which is a natural powder, very sweet, good taste, AND kills bacteria!! You’ll have halitosis on the run. It’s popularity in dental products is increasing, too.
Or, you could use Agave syrup, which is my favorite for taste. It is, like sugar, tasteless – except for it’s sweet flavor. No aftertaste. And no, I’m not lying – No aftertaste. Xylitol scores approx 7 on the sugar index, and Agave syrup around 10. Sugar scores 100. Obviously, it’s great for diabetics, too.
ps. another tip for reducing bacteria in the mouth and getting rid of halitosis? If you don’t have neem toothpaste, then put a drop of neem oil on top of your toothpaste. It’s very strong tasting, but get used to it. It’s your friend in combating halitosis.  But, like most toothpastes, it’s not recommended that you swallow or consume neem oil.

halitosis and foods, pt.I

Bacteria – Bad
One of the biggest culprits of halitosis is gum disease due to a build-up of bacteria in the mouth. Besides the neem toothpaste and neem mouthwash which will greatly reduce bacteria and oral thrush without drying out your mouth (a dry mouth can also cause halitosis), you can use food and teas to help eliminate halitosis.
Spices – Friend & Foe
Spices are excellent in immediately battling & relieving the bad breath from halitosis. The spices’ essential oils re-circulate in the mouth long after you’ve eaten them, typically up to 24 hours.  But the essential oils of spices can work for and against you.
Good Spices for Bad Breath
Spices to keep handy, for anytime — especially after meals: fennel seed, anise seed, or clove. Fennel and anise seed would be my first choices. They have the double benefit of calming and improving the digestive system. Other options to immediately relieve bad breath or halitosis include chewing on a slice of fresh gingerroot, parsley (frequently on your dinner plate) and mint.
Spices – Flip Side
On the flip side, those same essential oils that keep your halitosis at bay can also make your friends run away – depending on the spice you’ve eaten. So, if you’ve got a meeting tomorrow morning, nix the onions tonight.  Remember the 24-hour rule.  Obviously, stay away from garlic, onions, & hot peppers, which will exacerbate halitosis and cause bad breath in most everyone. Also stay away from fermented dairy.