Myths about Halitosis
Learn about the myths of what causes bad breath or halitosis. How to treat bad breath
Over the course of the year we communicate with thousands of people suffering from chronic bad breath conditions. As a result of these communications we get to hear a lot of stories and theories about what people think might be causing their halitosis condition, and we also hear about the many things that people do to try and resolve their breath condition. Unfortunately many of the things we hear from people are incorrect. To better assist you we have provided some common myths that we hear from people who contact the Center for Breath Treatment.
These are the most common myths:
- Halitosis comes from the stomach.
Only in extremely rare cases does this occur. Cleansing the intestines or colonics offers no benefits in eliminating a halitosis condition. Gastric reflux is also commonly blamed for producing halitosis conditions but this theory is false and scientifically unfounded.
- Halitosis comes from the lungs.
Only rarely does this occur and can be a manifestation of a serious disease or perhaps a pneumonia.
- Halitosis is a hereditary problem.
This is absolutely not true. There is no gene for halitosis that can be passed on genetically to an offspring. Certain conditions that can contribute to a bad breath condition can be hereditary, but these do not guarantee your offspring will develop a halitosis condition.
- A chronic bad breath condition can be contagious or passed to another person through kissing.
This is absolutely not true.
- Mouth washes and breath mints can help a breath problem.
This is not true. They only mask the problem at best for a few short minutes. Alcohol based mouthwashes in fact will worsen the problem
because they dry out the mouth thus increasing the volatilization or vaporization of breath odors.
- Internal breath fresheners can eliminate a chronic halitosis condition.
Products taken for food induced odors will have little effect on a chronic halitosis condition. There are, however, many food induced odors
that can be offensive to others and there are ways to resolve those types of problems. The only product we have tested that has been shown to be effective against
food induced odors such as garlic breath or onion breath is a product called Breath Gemz. This product
has the ability to eliminate the odors during or even well after a person consumes the foods that will produce strong or offensive breath odors. It cannot eliminate a
chronic halitosis condition however.
- 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. This is a dental condition that we commonly see in our clinic because patients are often trying to "brush their halitosis away". 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.
- 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.
- There is no treatment for halitosis.
Commonly we see patients in our clinic that have given up hope of eliminating their halitosis condition and erroneously assume
they will be burdened with this condition for the rest of their lives. The reality is there is a highly effective treatment for
this problem at the Center For Breath Treatment.
- 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.
- 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 bacteria they often 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. Any improvement that occurs is because the antibiotics temporarily also reduce the amount of the anaerobic bacteria in the mouth that are contributing to the halitosis condition. Once the antibiotic regimen is completed the bad breath always returns.
- Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide will help cure my bad breath.
Hydrogen peroxide has never been shown to be helpful in treating halitosis. It is considered to be both a cytotoxic (toxic to cells), and a proteolytic (breaks down protein) product that will damage the tissues in the mouth. An occasional use of the product will not cause any significant damage to the oral tissues but any prolonged or regular use of hydrogen peroxide will breakdown the tissues and cause ulcerations of the tissues. We recommend patients do not use it for oral purposes