Americans are obsessed with odors. We worry about how we smell, and advertisers have perfected ways to reinforce our fears. They sell products for virtually every indication and orifice on the body. There are even genital deodorants, euphemistically known as feminine hygiene sprays.
The mouthwash business is huge because we seem especially concerned about bad breath. The commercials warn us about "morning mouth" and "dragon breath," and we buy into the nonsense. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on gargles, rinses, and breath mints, and much of that money is wasted.
Although it is true that often everyone wakes up with a stale taste in the mouth, this is natural. It's the result of bacteria building up overnight due toactivity of the saliva. This generally clears up with brushing your teeth, sipping your morning juice, or talking.
For most people, dietary discretion and good dental hygiene forestall any problem with bad breath. But there are those who troubles persist.
Stories have been told of people bad breath being cured by getting their tonsils removed, or by an anti-biotic program for the stomach.
There are lots of possible causes of true bad breath, but some people suffer from a misplaced conviction that they have halitosis. They became obsessed with the problem although no one can smell an odor. For those with detectable bad breath, life can be miserable. They may become social outcasts.
Health professionals are not always helpful. Specialists to consult include a dentist, a perodontist, or an ear, nose, and surgeon specialist. A thorough diagnostic work is essential to rule out diabetes, liver disease, tonsillitis, sinus infection, or a lung problem may all contribute.
The tonsils may also trap food that could decay, causing an unpleaser odor. And there is now a blood test for Helicobacter pylori to see if this infection is lurking in your digestive tract. Chronic halitosis is usually a signal that all is not well. It may take persistence and determination to find its cause and treat it effectively.