Halitosis. Bad breath. Morning breath.
Whatever you may call it, it’s nasty. And we all have it.
When it comes to figuring out what causes it, an unbelievable number of theories have been advanced. An an equally remarkable number of methods have been attempted to try to control it, from tongue scrapers to mouthwash.
What makes halitosis so tricky is that scientists have proven that you can’t smell your own breath. So you may be wandering around the office spreading enough foul-smelling stank to scare off a herd of elephants without realizing it!
But the good news is that modern science has made tremendous advances in understanding what causes bad breath, and we also know exactly how to fix it!
- 90% of the odor-causing bacteria responsible for bad breath are found in biofilms on the tongue
- Most of the “halitosis smell” is actually sulfur gases released by these bacteria
- Brushing your teeth and using mouthwash are not sufficient to remove these colonies of bacteria
- Using a tongue scraper only removes a portion of the “tongue plaque” — much of it is located down in crevices unreachable by a scraper
- While halitosis is the proper medical term, the idea of “chronic halitosis” was invented by the makers of Listerine in the 1920s to spark demand for their product, which had previously been sold as a “cure” for gonorrhea