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Bad Breath News From Around the World

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Those that suffer with halitosis often feel isolated. If you are one of the many people suffering with bad breath, you are not alone! Many deal with foul breath and odor in their daily lives. Here is some recent news from around the world that discusses the topic of bad breath and how you can absolutely fix it.

According to a recent article by NBC Washington, a chemical leak in West Virginia caused a spoiled cabbage-like odor to spread through the air all the way to Baltimore. This leak filled the air with mercaptan -- a chemical that is fairly harmless and used to help natural gas leaks. While its smell is strong and unpleasant, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration assures us that mercaptan is only harmful in high concentrations. Mercaptan is also one of the main gases produced by oral bacteria to create bad breath. So while this leak is harmless to all who inhale it, residents from Baltimore to West Virginia are experiencing a smell similar to bad breath everywhere they go -- as if we didn't have to deal with that enough at the office already!

If your breath does smell of rotten cabbage, the best way to eliminate mercaptan and other volatile sulfur-producing compounds is to use oxygenating toothpaste and an oral rinse that doesn't contain alcohol at least twice daily. Don't forget to brush your tongue, cheeks and the roof of your mouth as well -- bacteria thrive in all parts of our mouths, not just the teeth.

While many Americans have to deal with bad breath one way or another, according to a recent article , other countries such as Germany aren't fairing much better. Der Standard (a foreign news service) stated that one in five Germans suffers from "mundgeruch" better known to us as halitosis.

The director of the Department of Periodontology at the University Hospital Munster clarifies that 20 percent of the German population has "permanent bad breath," not just the occasional case. One of Germany's neighbors is reporting even high numbers of bad breath sufferers. The Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery published a study that reports an estimated 50- 60 percent of the residents of France have "mauvaise haliene" or bad breath. Whether you use English, French or German to speak from your mouth, make sure it is clean by using specialty breath freshening products to neutralize VSCs and kill bad breath.

Across the Mediterranean Sea, Tel Aviv University's oral health experts stated in a recent article that the sacred Jewish text the Talmud considers bad breath to be a "major disability."

A ketubah (the Jewish prenuptial agreement) considers halitosis grounds for divorce! It also forbids priests that suffer from bad breath from marrying couples. The source of bad breath has been grounds for debate for centuries amongst Talmudic scholars. Should nasal odor caused by sinusitis or post-nasal drip (in some instances) fall into the same taboo category as oral odor? The famous polymath and Talmud authority Maimonides finally concluded both oral odor and nasal odor are the same evil.

The Talmud has many detailed discussions regarding the causes of halitosis; some still ring true today while others have fallen by the wayside. The University study's authors say that not drinking enough water was the main cause of bad breath in the Talmud. Other causes point to consumption of lentils or raw peas, eating soiled food that has fallen on the floor, working with flax, or depleting one's reproductive fluids as causing foul breath.

The sacred text also offers possible solutions to halitosis: chewing a pepper or mastic (a plant resin), applying tar to one's teeth or walking at least four steps after a meal. In today's environment, we'd recommend following a thorough oral care routine, using oral care products that specifically stop bad breath or trying an oral care probiotic.

Clear on the opposite side of the world, Japan has created a device that will help us monitor our own breath. A recent article states that this invention is called the Etiquette Checker (EC) and is made up of a small plastic stick with perforated holes at one end. All users have to do is breathe on the device and then receive a score from one to six.

One is the lowest score and a six would indicate someone with a surefire case of bad breath. The EC is said to measure the level of VSCs (volatile sulfur compounds which are known to cause bad breath) on the exhaled air. The EC measures VSC levels from 0.05 milligrams per liter of air. The device maxes out at 0.3 milligrams per liter and displays a cartoon sad face with Xs for eyes -- that should be enough to encourage anyone to pop a mint or chew sugar free gum that will increase saliva production. Better yet, head over to the bathroom for a quick (yet thorough) brush and rinse with products that are proven to stop halitosis.

While bad breath seems to permeate throughout the world, remember that is it completely curable. Be aware of the ingredients in the oral care products that you use and make sure they don't contain alcohol, sugar or sodium lauryl sulfate. If they do, you may be hurting your mouth unintentionally every time you use them by possibly causing dry mouth and tooth decay.

Along with a good oral care regimen, eating crisp fruits and vegetables and keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water should help you be on your way to a fresher breath where ever you live.