10 Myths About Halitosis (Bad Breath)
Until recently, most treatments have been generally unsuccessful in resolving halitosis or bad breath conditions. Common treatments such as mouthwashes, mints, chewing gums, mouth sprays, and intestinal cleansings otherwise known as colonics, are simply inadequate. There are many websites offering “magic” breath products. Of course, these are a waste of money.
Serious, persistent, chronic bad breath is now very much treatable. Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding the causes of halitosis and its proper cure.
The following are the most common misconceptions about halitosis and how to treat it. I answer these questions all the time.
Here are the most common myths:
1. Halitosis comes from the stomach.
Only in extremely rare cases does this occur. Cleansing the intestines offers no benefits in treating bad breath.
2. Halitosis comes from the lungs.
Only rarely does this occur and can be a manifestation of a serious disease.
3. Halitosis is a hereditary problem.
This is absolutely not true. Certain conditions that can contribute to a bad breath condition can be hereditary, but there is no halitosis gene that can be passed on to an offspring.
4. Mouthwashes and breath mints can help a breath problem.
This is not true. They only mask the problem for a few short minutes at best. Alcohol-based mouthwashes, in fact, will worsen the problem because they dry out the mouth thus increasing the volatilization of breath odors.
5. Internal breath fresheners can help my problem.
These do absolutely nothing for a chronic bad breath condition.
6. Brushing my teeth more will help eliminate my breath condition.
This is also not true. Excessive brushing can dry one’s mouth, thus increasing the halitosis problem. Excessive brushing can also damage the teeth and gums over time. It is very difficult to remove the specific odor-causing bacteria with brushing and flossing alone, and most patients we see at our center tend to have very good oral hygiene.
7. Halitosis is caused by foods.
Foods such as onions, garlic, or cauliflower can induce certain odors but these are only transitory and can be easily eliminated by avoiding that particular food. The odors they produce also are not of the “sulfur” type commonly seen in true halitosis conditions and generally are not as offensive.
8. There is no treatment for halitosis.
This is absolutely not true as we have been 99% effective with thousands of patients who go to see ENT specialists. It usually takes two visits and we do treat people via telephone and product sales via the internet.
9. Probiotics can help in eliminating my bad breath.
There is no scientific evidence to support the benefits of probiotics in the treatment of halitosis. The use and benefits of probiotics for treating a bad breath condition is very overstated and over simplified. For that reason we do not recommend the use of these products.
10. I have heard that the bacteria H. Pylori causes halitosis. Is this true?
This is absolutely false. H. Pylori is a common cause of peptic ulcers and when patients have been placed on antibiotics to eliminate the H. Pylori they sometimes find that their chronic halitosis condition improves. The reason for the improvement has nothing to do with the elimination or reduction of the H. Pylori. I may occur because the antibiotics temporarily reduce the amount of the anaerobic bacteria that are contributing to the bad breath condition. Once the antibiotic regimen is completed the bad breath always returns.