Talk to Yourself: Keeping your mouth closed all day promotes bad breath.

posted 2000-Mar-25

Right off the bat, let me say that I don't have any empirical evidence to back this up. It's just my own experience, working from home all day, every day.

In July of 1999 I moved to St. Louis, and starting working from my new home as a full-time remote worker for Refinery. (As a co-founder of the company, I previously worked full-time in the Philadelphia office.) I discovered, after only a few weeks of working, that my breath was nasty. Now, I've always been lax with my dental hygiene, which assuredly exacerbates the problem, but I didn't have this problem (or not to this extent) when working in Philadelphia. The problem, I believe, is that not opening your mouth all day makes things nasty!

I've seen ads for oxidizing breath fresheners. I passed them off as pseudo-science, but I'm here with my own pseudo-scientifical explanation as to why I suspect they do work (not that I've tried them). Let's talk about composting for a minute.

When composting raw material, like grass and leaves, microorganisms are doing the dirty work of breaking down the molecules in the compost heap. When you have enough oxygen supplied to the microorganisms, the process stays aerobic and produces carbon dioxide as a by-product. Deprive those microorganisms of oxygen, however, and the process becomes anaerobic and produces methane and ammonia. (The stuff in the middle of a really fetid compost pile can smell quite strong.) For more information, see Bedminster's page on the processing of garbage, particularly paragraph 6.

The same happens in your mouth, I believe. This is why I advise talking to yourself. If you spend all day without someone to talk to, and you keep your mouth closed, you are depriving the bacteria in your mouth (yes, they're there) from oxygen, and consequently they produce nasty smells. If, on the other hand, you talk to yourself all day when alone in the house, not only do your pets feel loved, but your breath becomes much better. Not a substitute for brushing and flossing, mind you, but it can make the difference between happy family members returning home in the evening, and scowls and beratement for your halitosis.

As an added benefit, you get to pretend you're insane...

11:56PM ET
Damn y0 breath stank! :)

Nah but seriously good little article :)
Makes ya think...
03:12PM ET
Heh, some of us talk to ourselves all the time. It was a godsend when hands-free mobiles came about cos then you don't look like a mad, old piss stained tramp, high on a concoction of cheap strong cider and mould infested food raked from the local dumpster (I think you y*nks call it)...


stanky mouth
03:16PM ET
Ok soo i never understood why my breath started to think but i did hear if i drank water 8 times a day with green leafy fruits my breath would get back to normal and i will possibly hold some tic tacs and some altoids in my pocket never forget it
stanky mouth
03:17PM ET
its embarasing when a friends holds there nose in your face tic tacs all the way
stanky mouth
03:19PM ET
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