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The Facts and Myths about Bad Breath

(Plus a Simple Three Step Plan to Fresh Breath


It is estimated that over 60 million Americans suffer from either occasional or chronic halitosis, or “bad breath”, and almost everybody experiences some form of daily “morning breath”. Despite the prevalence of this problem, there is still a great deal of misinformation and confusion about the causes of bad breath and what the best bad breath remedies are. Here are some of the facts and myths about bad breath, along with some simple and inexpensive steps that one can take or recommend to others to avoid this distressing problem.   

A Simple Three-Step Plan to Fresh Breath  

  1. Brush your entire mouth, including the walls and roof of the mouth, and floss twice daily.

  2. After brushing, scrape the top surface of your tongue, from back to front, 2-3 times with a specially designed tongue scraper. Tongue cleaning is clinically proven to be the single most effective way to reduce bad breath. It’s important to get to the very back of the tongue, where the majority of odor-causing bacteria and decaying food particles are lodged. Gargle with water or your favorite mouthwash. Tongue cleaning is easy to do and takes only about 10-15 seconds.

  3. Keep your mouth moist throughout the day by drinking plenty of fluids and, if necessary, using a humidifier at night. Talking a lot, sleeping with your mouth open, and taking certain medications quickly dries out the mouth, creating a more conducive environment for the growth of bacteria. By keeping a constant flow of saliva going, you can wash a lot of these bacteria way before they settle and cause problems.

If, after taking these steps, the problem persists, you may want to try a special mouth rinse containing chlorine dioxide, which has been shown to be effective at killing the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath. Your dentist or hygienist should be able to tell you where you can buy such a mouth rinse. If using a tongue scraper and rinsing/gargling with a chlorine dioxide mouth rinse do not work, you may have a more serious medical problem that needs to be treated by a dentist or doctor. However, following these simple steps should be one of the most adequate bad breath remedies people use to maintain a clean mouth, fresh breath, and a halitosis free life!


Text Box: Facts: 

Clinical studies have shown that the vast majority of bad breath originates in the mouth (not in the stomach) and particularly on the back of the tongue. Bacteria and food particles that get lodged in the grooves and crevices of the tongue decompose and emit foul-smelling gases called ”volatile sulfur compounds”, better known to us as “bad breath”.  

Breathmints, mouthwashes, sprays and drops do not eliminate bad breath or the underlying bacteria. They simply “mask” or cover up bad breath for only 10 minutes to an hour, according to a study by Consumer Reports. 

The most effective way to fight bad breath is at the source of the problem- on the tongue and other soft tissue area of the mouth such as the gums, inner cheeks, and roof of the mouth. By regularly brushing one’s teeth, flossing, scraping one’s tongue with a plastic tongue cleaner, and maintaining a constant flow of saliva, one can ensure a clean mouth and fresh breath.   

Text Box: Myths:acts:           

Bad breath originates in the stomach.

According to current medical research, less than 1% of bad breath originates in the stomach, lungs, or sinuses. Consuming onion, garlic, and alcohol can temporarily affect a person’s breath, but the resulting odor is difficult to combat in the stomach, since any chemicals from these foods quickly enter the bloodstream and evaporate in the lungs.  

Simply brushing one’s teeth more frequently will control bad breath.

This will not work, because the majority of the odor is coming from the tongue and other soft tissue areas of the mouth, not the teeth.  

One can detect one’s own breath.

A bad taste in the mouth or other people’s bodily reactions are very unreliable indicators of a breath odor problem. The best way to find out if you have bad breath is to ask a friend or loved one.  

Brushing Versus “Scraping” the Tongue

Many dentists are aware of the benefits of tongue cleaning and instruct their patients to brush their tongues. While this is a good practice, it is not nearly as effective as cleaning the tongue with a specially designed plastic tongue scraper. Brushing tends to churn up and redistribute debris on the tongue, whereas scraping cleanly removes this debris in a few, quick strokes. Also, a toothbrush is more likely to cause a gagging reflex, since it is not designed to reach the rear portion of the tongue where the majority of debris is lodged. To avoid a gagging tendency, try holding your breath and closing your eyes while scraping the tongue. 

Where to Buy Tongue Cleaners

Ask your dentist or hygienist where to find them, or you can contact Alwin Enterprises, Inc., a leading supplier of tongue cleaners, directly at 1-888-749-4553 or online at http://www.orafresh.com. Their tongue cleaners are inexpensive, portable, and reusable; in short, a very simple and efficient way to maintain around-the-clock fresh breath.  

References from Consumer Magazines/Newspapers

Mouthwashes, Consumer Reports, 1992; Dept. 607-10. 

Kiss Bad Breath Good-Bye, Readers Digest, Sept. 1994. 

Save Your Breath, Allure, Sept. 1995. 

Taking a Clinical Approach to Freshening Up Bad Breath, USA Today, 4/13/94. 

To Improve Bad Breath: First Discover the Dragon, Newsday, Health Matters C4, 8/10/99    


For more information, or to order more of these leaflets please contact:

PO Box 6702
Annapolis MD 21041
888-749-4553 Toll Free
410-956-3300 International
410-956-3400 Fax

E-mail to orafresh@orafresh.com


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