Ever have a conversation and find someone with offensive breath?.
Now there are new reasons to let your friends know about halitosis. Oral bacteria have been linked to diseases like cancer, pre term birth, mental status, and (surprisingly) even weight gain. Bacteria in the mouth (the most common cause of halitosis) are easily removable by brushing, flossing and periodic professional cleanings.
Bacteria grow everywhere in the mouth, starting in small colonies and then differentiating into different niches called biofilms. As the colonies grow larger, deeper layers calcify and become hard to remove, unless a dentist or hygienist ‘scales or planes’ the layers off the teeth. More layers produce swelling that deepens the crevice between the tooth and gum. Eventually very toxic bacteria take hold and cause severe swelling, bone loss and will even burrow into the tissues and blood stream. The characteristic odor of halitosis is caused by bacterial byproducts called sulfides and mercaptans.
Cleaning away the bacteria removes the odor and eliminates the swelling so the gums get healthier, there are fewer places for bacteria to grow, and inflammation (the body’s fire alarm) stops. Daily brushing, flossing and cleanings every 3 to 6 months help keep bacteria in check.
When you alert your friends to halitosis, you are preventing the environment which can contribute to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, and other terrible diseases.
The fresh breath created by better oral care is a signal that disease is being kept away. Don’t ignore halitosis, do your friends a favor and let them know!