Dental Care

Bad Breath Tester

Why would you need a bad breath tester? When you were growing up, your parents probably reminded you to brush after every meal.

You didn't need anyone to tell you to do that once you began dating. The horror of bad breath was a reality that you took very seriously.

However, did anyone remind you not to forget to brush your tongue? That's right, brushing your tongue is just as important if you want a sparkling fresh breath.

Bad breath comes from the waste material of bacteria that live in your mouth. It contains sulfur compounds, very similar to the compounds they leave in your colon that make you light a match after you use the bathroom.

The bacteria sometimes grow on your teeth but they don't just camp out there, they live in the entire mouth and almost 90 percent of them find that the tongue provides a comfortable home. As you speak, eat, yawn or snooze, they grow and multiply, lounging among the taste buds simply eating and releasing their sulfur containing particles.  

Different types of bacteria have different wastes and each has a different smell. That's why sometimes you can tell if a person has a sinus infection by the garlic smell of their breath.

If you don't brush away, rinse away or otherwise eliminate the bacteria and the waste they leave behind, you have a problem with smelly breath. That's why many physicians and dentist often suggest you rinse your mouth frequently and brush your tongue.  

The front of the tongue gets a real workout. When you talk, it rubs the hard palate in the front and sometimes the teeth. This makes it far more unfriendly than the rooms at the back of the tongue that bacteria love to call home. You don't have the self-cleansing action back there and that's where most of the bacteria hide away and cause people to turn away when you speak.

You can find out if you have bad breath in a number of ways. The least desirable is to watch the reaction of friends as they turn their head when you talk. If their eyes water, it's a clue you need to do something quickly.

Of course, there are far better ways. Scraping your tongue with a spoon or other object, allowing the saliva to dry for a minute or two and sniffing it is also an effective method. Of course, your body and senses adjust to your own smell so you often you don't recognize the full effect of your breath but it can be a huge aid in detecting offensive odor.

Cupping your hands, blowing and sniffing isn't a solution since you become accustomed to your own body odors.  Ignoring your own smell is a natural defense mechanism from caveman days allowing you to detect the smell of predators and ignore your own personal scent and gives you the ability to smell foods for freshness without mixing the smell of your own breath with it.  

There is a wave of new breath testing equipment on the market. These are not the alcohol indicators similar to the ones police use when they pull you over. You could call these breath testers bacterial testers in some cases or chemical testers in others. Some of them detect the waste and others detect the bacteria.

Modern science brings us a way to make sure our smell is acceptable to others. One bad breath tester, called a halimeter, uses the concentration of oral sulfur compounds to gauge the mouth odor you exude. You simply breathe into the meter and it measures for these compounds, such as H2S, sulfureted hydrogen.

However, there is a drawback. Some food and drink affects the reading. Alcohol and alcohol containing oral products are two of these.  However, the home use bad breath tester is relatively inexpensive and small enough to carry around, so it is a good option if you worry about the sweetness of your breath.

A gas chromatography of the mouth, once limited to the dentist office is now available in a more portable version. It not only measures the H2S in your mouth, it also measures other gases. New technology that gave us the tiny cells phones and miniature hand held devices has made this option available in a bad breath tester named "the OralChroma."

New research looks to the source of the problem and a Tel Aviv University research team thinks they have a simple solution. Most scientists believed that just the Gram-negative bacteria were responsible for breaking down bacteria and causing odor in the mouth.

New research shows that the Gram-positive bacteria also play a roll. The Gram-positive help the Gram-negative by producing enzymes that not only help digest the protein but also provide the basis for the "OkayToKiss" bad breath tester.

Professor Rosenburg's lab created a small bad breath tester that detects the enzymes produced by the Gram-positive bacteria. You simply put some saliva on the tiny testing area and it turns blue when there's an abundance of the enzyme, which translates to an abundance of bacteria. 

It uses biomarkers, similar to glucose monitors and pregnancy tests. It is soon to hit the market and will be about the size of a pack of chewing gum.

There's no longer any excuse to force your best friend to smell your breath any more. You can now use a mechanical bad breath tester that's reasonable in price and discrete.

Simply excuse yourself for a minute, disappear to a place of privacy and in seconds, you'll know the sweetness of your breath and even the effectiveness of your brushing.

Halitosis isn't a laughing matter if you're the one with it, or the one receiving it for that matter. The new bad breath testers can make halitosis a little less common and may be one of the best inventions as the population grows and we become more crowded.


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