Characteristics of people whose “old man’s halitosis” does not disappear even though they try their best to brush their teeth… The no-mask lifestyle is beginning to reveal their mouth odor! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Characteristics of people whose “old man’s halitosis” does not disappear even though they try their best to brush their teeth… The no-mask lifestyle is beginning to reveal their mouth odor!

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From Remote to Real, “People with Bad Breath” Are Increasingly Emerging

In the COVID-19 crisis, it was a manner of wearing a mask to keep people at a distance, but wearing a mask has become a personal decision, and in some situations, “living without a mask” is becoming a daily routine. However, as more and more people are having face-to-face conversations without masks, an increasing number of people are becoming concerned about the other person’s halitosis.

As social distance has changed to private distance, people are becoming closer to each other. When working remotely through a screen, even if you had bad breath, it went unnoticed, but now that you are working in real life, every time you talk to a subordinate, colleague, or boss, you may be emitting an unpleasant odor from your mouth.

Even if you are a businessman who can do his job well, just having bad breath is enough to make you want to keep your distance.

Dr. Hideto Miyamoto of the Saiwaicho Dental and Oral Surgery Clinic says, “Not only in the office, but also at home.

It is possible that the odor is unpleasant not only in the office but also in the home. Many wives in their 40s and older say they have become concerned about their husbands’ bad breath. Even married couples find it difficult to point out bad breath.

In particular, the oral environment of people in their 40s and older tends to deteriorate due to periodontal disease and environmental factors, and many of them have “old man’s halitosis,” which is unique to this generation. In order to prevent bad breath, everyone brushes his or her teeth thoroughly. However, Dr. Miyamoto asserts, “Brushing your teeth as hard as you can does not eliminate bad breath.

According to the “Halitosis White Paper 2019,” which investigated the actual state of halitosis among Japanese people, a comparison of those who brush their teeth three or more times a day and those who brush less than twice a day showed that those who brush three or more times have a higher percentage of those whose halitosis exceeds the standard value for bad breath. This means that the number of times you brush your teeth does not necessarily improve bad breath.

Brushing your teeth refreshes your mouth and makes you feel good, but the toothpaste and gargling only temporarily cleanse your mouth. You may feel refreshed, but the cause of the bad breath has not been removed, and your mouth will start smelling again soon.

Smell of boiled eggs” is caused by a dirty tongue, and “Garbage smell” is caused by periodontal disease.

There are three possible causes of bad breath: “physiological halitosis,” which is caused by a dirty tongue; “pathological halitosis,” which is caused by gum disease; and “systemic halitosis,” which is caused by disease, although the percentage is small.

Physiological halitosis is caused by sulfur compounds released by bacteria in the mouth and smells like boiled eggs. The tongue, which is particularly rough, is an ideal habitat for the bacteria. This makes it easy for dirt to accumulate on the tongue, which causes the odor.

On the other hand, pathological halitosis accounts for more than half of all halitosis. Most of the “old man’s halitosis” in the over 40s is caused by periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease bacteria are present in the mouth even in younger generations, but as the oral environment deteriorates with age, the bacteria multiply and increase in malignancy between teeth, leading to the development of periodontal disease. When periodontium goes bad, it produces a highly toxic substance that emits a strong odor.

The periodontal disease bacteria produce a sulfur compound called “methyl mercaptan,” which is designated as a poison by Japanese law. This is a substance designated as toxic by Japanese law. It has the same level of toxicity as cyanide gas. That is why bad breath caused by periodontal disease has a strong odor and makes people uncomfortable.

In addition to a lack of saliva and a poor oral environment, there are places where a toothbrush cannot reach, which leads to a buildup of tartar and increases the risk of periodontal disease. People with tartar buildup and food debris trapped in their mouths also need to watch out for bad breath.

Saliva is a major factor in the growth of both dirt on the tongue and gum disease bacteria. Saliva aids digestion, washes away dirt in the mouth, and inhibits the growth of bacteria. However, the environment and lifestyles of modern people are such that they are prone to saliva deficiency.

One major cause of reduced saliva is stress. Have you ever experienced a dry mouth before an important task? When the sympathetic nervous system becomes dominant during tense situations, saliva secretion decreases. As a result, they are more likely to suffer from saliva deficiency.

Other factors that can also impede saliva production include reduced water intake, dry mouth breathing, and smoking, which reduces capillary vascularity.

There are more than 700 species of bacteria in the mouth, making it an environment in which they can easily multiply. When saliva is reduced, it becomes the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply.

How to “self-check bad breath” with a single plastic bag

Does your mouth smell bad or not? Most people do not know for themselves. Even if you think you are fine, you may have bad breath at certain times of the day. Let’s start by using a plastic bag to check for bad breath.

Use a thin plastic bag that is placed on the soccer field when you are packing bags at the supermarket. Hold the bag and breathe into it as if you were blowing into a balloon. Hold the plastic bag from underneath with the palm of your opposite hand and exhale loudly and slowly so that the warmth of your breath is felt.

Hold the mouth of the plastic bag tightly and wait for 3 to 5 seconds, then open it gently, insert your nose, and smell the odor. If it smells like boiled eggs, it is physiological halitosis caused by a dirty tongue. If it smells like raw garbage, it is pathological halitosis caused by periodontal disease. People with bad breath are used to their own smell and may not recognize it at one time. Check several times at different times of the day and on different days.”

To improve bad breath, both self-care at home and professional care at the dentist’s office are essential.

From the 40s onward, it is important to use a three-piece toothbrush, floss, and interdental brush set to prevent bad breath. For a toothbrush, tapered bristles with long, thin tips are recommended. Periodontal disease begins in the spaces between teeth and in the gum triangle under the teeth. To keep this area clean, use soft floss or a small size interdental brush to clean all areas.

Tongue brushing is also effective in removing dirt from the tongue. Brushing several times from the back to the front with a commercially available tongue brush can remove stains that cause bad breath.

People with bad breath tend to brush for longer periods of time. However, flossing and using an interdental brush after each meal is more effective than time spent brushing to prevent bad breath.

Once gum disease, which is the cause of “old man’s halitosis” in people in their 40s and older, has developed, it is difficult to cure it with self-care. If periodontal disease is suspected, the bad breath will not disappear without treatment at a dentist’s office.

The bacteria will not disappear if you brush your teeth,” he said. If you are not careful, periodontal disease bacteria can multiply at a tremendous rate and worsen the environment in your mouth. If you have had bleeding gums at least once in the past, there is a good chance that you have already developed gum disease. Periodontal disease is difficult to detect its progression by oneself, and some people suddenly lose their teeth in their 50s or 60s without realizing it.

Bad breath is an important barometer of the condition of the mouth, including periodontal disease. We recommend that you visit your dentist once a month to receive professional oral care by a doctor or dental hygienist. This can prevent periodontal disease and improve bad breath at its root.”

Now that the distance of communication is returning to the pre-COVID-19 crisis days, bad breath care is the minimum etiquette. Maintaining fresh breath may be the key to good human relations as we age.

Hizuru Miyamoto is the director of the Saiwaicho Dental and Oral Surgery Clinic. Through dental care, he helps all generations to lead healthy lives. In addition to the treatment, prevention, and management of tooth decay and periodontal disease, he also provides countermeasures against systemic infections, lifestyle-related diseases, and systemic diseases. He has appeared on “Honma dekka! TV” (Fuji TV), “Asa Ichi” (NHK), and many other TV appearances. He is the author of “Lemon Water Gargle Diet” (Asa Publishing Co., Ltd.).

  • Interview and text by Yoko Nemmochi Yoko Kemmochi

    Born in Yamagata Prefecture in 1983, Yoko Kemmochi worked for 10 years in the editorial department of a health information magazine, editing monthly magazines and web media before becoming a freelance writer. Currently, she interviews, plans, and writes about doctors and specialists, focusing on healthcare and medical fields.

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