The oral hygiene industry is worth billions. Think about when you go to the supermarket for instance, and you walk past the oral health section. Think about the amount of so called bad breath solutions that are piled up on the shelves. How many brands of mouthwash, oral rinses and sprays can you see? How many different types of toothbrushes, electric and manual? How many brands of toothpaste, flossing instruments or products to clean dentures with? How many different types of "breath fresheners" such as mints or gums?
This is, after all, just a reflection of a huge (massive!) demand; our own demand for products that not only can help us clean our mouths, but that can also help disguise, stop, prevent, combat, fight or even cure bad breath. Because, after all, one of the things that worries us the most is how we smell, and in particular, how our breaths are perceived by the other people around us.
Since – in general – it is very difficult to tell if our own breath smells nasty, we want to make sure we do all what we can to keep halitosis at bay, or at least, cover it up as best as we can… So we continue to buy these products, hoping they can somehow keep our breaths fresh and healthy.
But the truth is that bad breath solutions that can really tackle the root causes of oral malodours are, in fact, scarce. And I can guarantee they do not normally come in the form of a product that is stacked up on a supermarket shelf. Of course, you probably don’t know that; and certainly you won’t know if a product works for you, unless you try it first. But let’s start from the basics… What is bad breath exactly and what causes it? Is halitosis (bad breath) a disease?
The answer is no, halitosis is not a disease. It is actually just a symptom. A consequence if you like; of other underlying conditions, diseases or infections that we are afflicted with. These underlying factors – for reasons that vary in each individual case – generally lead to an overgrowth of bacteria, be it in the mouth, the nose, the sinuses, the tonsils, throat, esophagus, or somewhere else in our bodies. However, in general (in over 85% of cases) this overgrowth of germs takes place within structures located inside our mouths.
While there are more serious systemic diseases – such as diabetes or renal failure to name a couple of examples – which can also cause bad breath, by far the most likely culprits are issues that can be located in the mouth itself, usually dental in nature.
Hence, if we are looking for bad breath solutions that target our particular problem (say we have identified periodontal disease as the main cause) we need to look for solutions – remedies or treatments – that deal with periodontal (gum) disease. No amount of Listerine will cure gum disease, and no amount of any other oral rinse for that matter.
Chronic halitosis that stems from infections or conditions located in the mouth needs to be treated with bad breath solutions that target these conditions and infections in the mouth. This could be a home remedy or a professional treatment, or both. In addition, there are also plenty of prevention methods (which can be used at home) that will help prevent bad breath from knocking on our door again once the treatment is completed.
"There is a problem", you may think… "So how on earth do I identify the causes of my halitosis? After all, if it was so obvious, I would have certainly done something about it, rather than waste money on bad breath solutions, such as mouthwashes or oral sprays, that are never going to be able to tackle the root causes of my oral malodours…"
I will be honest with you. Here is where most people get stuck. "Is my bad breath caused by my impacted widom tooth? Could it be my tonsils instead? Or maybe it is my stomach, since I suffer from chronic indigestion? Hold on, maybe it is coming from my sinuses, as I always seem to be congested… " The list goes on. There are SO MANY different conditions, infections, diseases and factors which can lead or contribute to bad breath, that the process of identification of the most likely culprits can become a bit overwhelming.
We would like to just be able to make a home-made rinse or use a herbal remedy or mouthwash that could neutralise our halitosis quickly and effectively; no more headaches. And this, my friend, is exactly what the oral hygiene industry will try to market you: a product that promises a quick and easy fix. They know EXACTLY what you are looking for.
This also applies to many other smaller companies, such as those that market products online claiming they are the bad breath solution you are looking for, the product that will vanish your smelly breath in no time. Think about it and try to be rational: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
If you are willing to take some advice from someone who has suffered from chronic halitosis for over a decade, who has tried every single product there is out there; don’t waste any more money or time on those products and start focusing instead on determining the most likely root causes of your halitosis, and proceed to deal with them with the most appropriate products or treatments.
I know this may not be easy and that it does not sound like the quickest way to get rid of your bad breath, but trust me when I say, it is the ONLY way to cure halitosis permanently. I spent years looking for easy bad breath solutions, and where did it lead me? It led me back to square one each time, once and again. A year and a half ago I finally put all my efforts into really tackling the root causes of my bad breath; it took me a few months to get there, but I can assure you it was well worth it in the end. I have been bad breath free since then and I am like a new person. The question is, what are you going to do about your bad breath?
Other articles you may find helpful: