Question

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Should I avoid using breath mints to treat bad breath?

A Answers (3)

  • ADe Vizio, DMD, Dentist, answered on behalf of Colgate
    You should avoid breath mints to treat bad breath. Mints are not a lasting solution; they simply mask the bad breath odor. The most effective way to treat bad breath is to remove the bacteria and food particles in your mouth by brushing your teeth, gums, and tongue after each meal. Flossing every day will also remove food particles from your gums and reduce the risk of bad breath.
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  • Breath mints and mouthrinses are generally cosmetic and do not have a long-lasting effect on bad breath. If you must constantly use a breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, see your dentist. He or she can help identify the cause and, if it’s due to an oral condition, develop a treatment plan to help eliminate it.

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  • AYogi Cameron Alborzian, Alternative/complementary Medicine, answered
    Imagine if your car tended to break down every time the temperature went below freezing. When you figure this out, your solution is to move to a climate that always remains above freezing--thereby eliminating the problem. But if you were to hire a mechanic to investigate, he might find that there's something wrong with one of the components of the car and, when fixed, this breakdown will not only no longer happen but it will address a larger issue that would otherwise eventually worsen. But because you didn't address it and instead avoided the problem by relocating, the car breaks down again -- this time for good.

    This is sort of what it's like to use something like a breath mint to treat bad breath. The bad breath we experience is an indication that something is out of balance in our digestive system--a part of the body Ayurveda teaches us is governed by the fire element. When we experience too much of this fire in the digestive system, we experience symptoms like hyperacidity, acid reflux, and yes, bad breath. The fact that we experience bad breath is an indication that there may be a larger issue going on in the body much like a large issue may be going on with the car regardless of how cold it is outside.

    Rather than rely on breath mints for treating bad breath, seek out the cause of the breath and modify your lifestyle accordingly. By doing so, you'll not only eliminate this smaller problem but address a larger issue that may impact your health more profoundly as you get older.
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Should I avoid using breath spray to treat bad breath?