No one wants to have bad breath, also called halitosis. Though it won’t kill you, halitosis can impact your personal and professional life, causing you to feel embarrassed. To deal with bad breath, it helps to understand the cause as well as successful treatments for this unpleasant condition. The following myths and facts provide useful information about dealing with bad breath.
Myth: You can tell if you have bad breath
Truth: Most people can’t really tell how their own breath smells to other. To find out if you need help in that area, either ask a trusted friend or talk to your dentist during a checkup.
Myth: Brushing and flossing won’t help bad breath
Truth: Good oral hygiene helps remove food debris from your mouth, which lessens the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria generate a sulfur by-product that is the main cause of bad breath.
Myth: Mouth wash and mints are good for bad breath
Truth: Using mints and mouth wash provides temporary relief for halitosis, but can actually make the condition worse in the long run because they tend to dry out your mouth.
Myth: Specific foods cause bad breath
Truth: While onions and garlic can temporarily change the way your breath smells, food doesn’t have a long-term impact on halitosis. Chronic bad breath occurs because of an underlying issue such as gum disease or from food particles left in between teeth that cause an overproduction of bacteria in your mouth.
Myth: My parents passed down halitosis to me
Truth: Although you can inherit eye color and allergies from your mom and dad, no gene exists for bad breath.
Myth: My dentist can’t help with my halitosis problem
Truth: Often times the underlying problem can be caused by a build-up of bacteria resulting from gum disease and neglected oral care. Your dentist can identify and fix existing cavities, provide a thorough cleaning, treat infected gums, and even recommend oral products that can help bad breath.