Myths about Halitosis
Learn about the myths of what causes bad breath or halitosis. How to treat bad breath
These are the most common myths:
- Halitosis comes from the stomach.
Only in extremely rare cases does this occur. Cleansing the intestines offers no
benefits in treating halitosis.
- Halitosis comes from the lungs.
Only rarely does this occur and can be a manifestation of a serious disease.
- 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.
- Mouth washes 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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 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 a cytotoxic
product (toxic to cells) 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