Bad breath can wreak havoc on one's self-confidence. It also makes social situations very uncomfortable for you and for others around you. However, bad breath is a common problem and is nothing to worry about as it is treatable.
The medical term for bad breath is halitosis, and it is usually a result of poor oral hygiene. However, there are several myths surrounding the problem and its potential treatments. Here we debunk some of the most common ones.
It is a result of the food we eat – Yes and no. Eating food rich in onion and garlic does result in bad breath but only temporarily. Halitosis is a chronic condition that is fueled by the excessive formation of volatile sulfur compounds created by the anaerobic bacteria in the back of the mouth.
It comes from the stomach – Again, yes and no! Sometimes bad breath can be a result of gastrointestinal problems but not always.
Brushing your teeth removes bad breath – The bacteria responsible for bad odor lurks over the tongue, so no, simply brushing your teeth does not solve the problem. You need to clean your tongue with a tongue scraper to eliminate the sulfur-producing bacteria that cause odor issues.
Using mouthwash to curb bad breath – Yes, it does but only temporarily. You cannot rinse your mouth with mouthwash before going to social events and expect the problem to disappear. You need to target and treat the root cause of the problem, which is excessive bacteria in the mouth, which a hurried swish of the mouthwash does not treat.
I can tell if I have bad breath – Unfortunately, no! Only those around you can tell you whether you have bad breath or not as the bacteria responsible for the odor is present at the back of the tongue, and the smell is expelled forward only when you speak.
A simple solution is to fix your oral hygiene practices to keep bacteria build-up to a minimum. However, if the problem persists, visit your dentist to obtain professional help.
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