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There is a curse that has plagued humanity since ancient times.
The Greeks fought it by chewing aromatic resins,
while the Chinese resorted to egg shells.
In the ancient Jewish Talmud, it's even considered legal grounds for divorce.
This horrible scourge is halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath.
But what causes it, and why is it so universally terrifying?
Well, think of some of the worst odor you can imagine,
like garbage, feces or rotting meat.
All of these smells come from the activity of microorganisms, particularly bacteria,
and, as disgusting as it may sound,
similar bacteria live in the moisture-rich environment of your mouth.
Don't panic.
The presence of bacteria in your body is not only normal,
it's actually vital for all sorts of things,
like digestion and disease prevention.
But like all living things, bacteria need to eat.
The bacteria in your mouth feed off of mucus, food remnants,
and dead tissue cells.
In order to absorb nutrients through their cell membranes,
they must break down the organic matter into much smaller molecules.
For example, they'll break proteins into their component amino acids
and then break those down even further into various compounds.
Some of the foul-smelling byproducts of these reactions,
such as hydrogen sulfide and cadaverine, escape into the air
and waft their way towards unsuspecting noses.
Our sensitivity to these odors and interpretation of them as bad smells
maybe an evolutionary mechanism warning us of rotten food and the presence of disease.
Smell is one of our most intimate and primal senses,
playing a huge role in our attraction to potential mates.
In one poll, 59% of men and 70% of women
said they wouldn't go on a date with someone who has bad breath,
which maybe why Americans alone spend $1 billion a year on various breath products.
Fortunately, most bad breath is easily treated.
The worst smelling byproducts come from gram-negative bacteria
that live in the spaces between gums and teeth and on the back of the tongue.
By brushing and flossing our teeth, using antibacterial mouthwash at bedtime,
gently cleaning the back of the tongue with a plastic scraper
and even just eating a healthy breakfast,
we can remove many of these bacteria and their food sources.
In some cases, these measures may not be enough
due to dental problems, nasal conditions, or rarer ailments,
such as liver disease and uncontrolled diabetes.
Behaviors like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
also have a very recognizable odor.
Regardless of cause, the bad smell almost always originates in the mouth
and not the stomach or elsewhere in the body.
But one of the biggest challenges lies in actually determining
how our breath smells in the first place, and it's unclear why.
It maybe that we're too acclimatized to the smell inside our own mouths to judge it.
And methods like cupping your hands over your mouth,
or licking and smelling your wrist don't work perfectly either.
One study showed that even when people do this,
they tend to rate the smell subjectively
according to how bad they thought it was going to be.
But there's one simple, if socially difficult way of finding out how your breath smells:
just take a deep breath and ask a friend.
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【TED-Ed】你有口臭嗎?來看看為什麼 (What causes bad breath? - Mel Rosenberg)

58605 分類 收藏
稲葉白兎 發佈於 2017 年 12 月 26 日   Eva Yi-Ching Chen 翻譯   Kristi Yang 審核

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口臭真的是人類一大敵人。就算沒吃大蒜、韭菜,嘴巴那股揮之不去的怪味真的讓 hen 尷尬。現在冬天對著空氣哈一口氣,冒出的不只白煙,還有一些…嗯。但是口臭究竟是怎麼造成的呢?一起來看看吧!

1
aromatic0:14
這個字是 aroma 的形容詞,表示「芳香的」,通常是指精油、植物,或是菜餚的香氣,這種香氣聞起來會讓人放鬆、心情愉悅。而 aromatherapy 則是 aroma 加上 therapy 組成的,就是指常見的芳療。
Aromatic herbs like rosemary and parsley are often used in cooking in Western countries.
帶香氣的草本植物,像是迷迭香和巴西里在西方國家中都常入菜。


表達香氣除了 aroma 之外,還有 scent 和 fragrance。這兩個字都常用於形容香水、芳香劑、花朵等物品。
The special tea plant fragrance can relieve your pressure and fill you up with energy.
茶樹的特別香氣能幫助你釋放壓力,讓你再次充滿元氣。


2
odor0:37
odor 指難聞的氣味,通常指人體散發出的臭味,像是狐臭、汗臭、口臭。美式用語中,body odor 甚至可以縮寫成 B.O. 來表達喔!
Nobody can stand that strong smell of his body odor.
沒有人能忍受他強烈的體味。


再更臭一點的味道我們會用 stench 這個字,比腳臭更難忍受的腐臭味,魚腥味、腐敗味或是燃燒塑膠的刺鼻味。
I prefer supermarket to traditional market, because the stench of the dead fish and pork always disgusts me.
比起傳統市場我比較喜歡超級市場,因為那裡魚腥味和肉味總是令我作嘔。


再來這個你我都再熟悉不過的字:stinky 是指難聞的、有異味的,指食物發酵、發酸的味道。老外最怕的臭豆腐,以發酵的臭 (香) 味聞名,被稱為 stinky tofu.
The smell of stinky tofu is quite scary for someone who has never tried it before.
臭豆腐的味道對於沒吃過它的人來說有點可怕。


*同場加映:
聞腋青年?世界上你絕對沒聽過的奇特工作 (The Strangest Jobs You Have Never Heard of)



3
breath2:13
呼吸的名詞,這個字和它的動詞型 breathe 長得很像,在閱讀和寫作時注意結尾有 e 的才是動詞喔!這個字不難,但衍伸出的片語可是相當多元。如:

● take a deep breath 深呼吸
● hold your breath 憋氣
● out of breath 氣喘噓噓,上氣不接下氣

breath 也常被比作時間,就在呼吸一口氣之間:

● in the same breath 同時
● in one breath 一口氣
● in the next breath 下一刻

此外也有比較特別的用法,例如 breathtaking 就是指「壯觀的、驚人的」,用來形容景象驚人,美麗到讓人忘記呼吸,屏氣凝神地盯著。
The Grand Canyon is one of the most breathtaking sights in the world.
大峽谷是世上最壯觀的景觀之一。


4
subjectively3:40
subject 最常見的解釋莫過於「科目」了吧!但是除了這個之外,還有寫作文的「題目、主題」,和句子中的「主詞」,或是「實驗的對象」,通通的可以用 subject 表達。而 subjectively 則是從它的形容詞 subjective 而來,表達「個人、主觀的」,反義詞則是 objective「客觀的」。
A journalist shouldn't be subjective while reporting.
新聞工作者不應該在報導的時候流於主觀。


口臭最惱人的地方真的是自己很難發現,身邊的人又不好意思跟你講!有人敢試試看影片最後提到的方法嗎?小 V 有看過睡前用優格刷牙的方法,讓乳酸菌把那些細菌殺光光,不過不知道有沒有效果就是了...。

文/ Janet
編輯/ Jerry Hsieh

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