Let’s face it – bad breath is hard to swallow. Treating bad breath starts with having an understanding of the underlying cause of where the bad breath is coming from. There are many myths and beliefs about the origins of bad breath.
Let’s review a few bad breath origin myths and discuss where bad breath really comes from:
Myth: Your Stomach
Many people believe that bad breath originates from the stomach. In reality, the stomach and esophagus have several valves designed to stop food from being regurgitated. These valves also serve to block odors from being released back into the mouth, reducing the risk of bad breath that comes from the stomach or esophagus.
Myth: Your Food
Some of the tastiest food is often accompanied by a strong odor. Don’t miss out on your favorite dish because you think it may give you nasty breath for days after your meal. Though some foods – like garlic and onions – can temporarily change your breath for the worse, temporary bad breath from food does not have the same sulfur smell that is a symptom of long-term bad breath (aka halitosis). Nasty breath caused by food usually dissipates a few hours after you finish your meal and is nothing to worry about.
Truth: Your Tongue
Since your tongue isn’t flat, all the nooks and crannies in its surface can easily harbor odor-causing bacteria. Tongue scraping with a tongue cleaner – like an Orabrush® – can help eliminate food and bacteria build up on your tongue. This simple practice can greatly minimize the chance of persistent bad breath. Good flossing and brushing habits can also help reduce the risk of bad breath.
Truth: Other Parts of Your Mouth
There are other places in your mouth that food residue and bacteria can hide. While cleaning your tongue is key to reducing most bad breath, proper dental hygiene is also an important factor to keeping your mouth clean and fresh.
Truth: Medical Conditions
Several underlying medical conditions can lead to chronic bad breath. Diabetes, kidney failure, and lung infections can all cause bad breath. If you suspect your bad breath is caused by an underlying health issue, talk to your healthcare professional.
Bad breath can be awkward and embarrassing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be educated about bad breath causes so that you can choose the best treatment method available. Hopefully, with the information above, you can take the first step to fighting bad breath!