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There is a lot of misconceptions about halitosis. Read our article to find out what really causes bad breath and how you can prevent it. 

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Five myths about bad breath

Five myths about bad breath

No one wants to suffer from bad breath – it makes us uncomfortable and can make social situations awkward. But it’s a common issue and is generally easy to manage. We know there’s a lot of misinformation out there about bad breath, so let’s get the facts straight before we begin to tackle the problem.

Bad breath comes from the foods we eat

Yes, and no. When you consume food made with garlic or onion, the effect is only temporary. Chronic bad breath, on the other hand, is linked to high levels of volatile sulphur compounds, caused by anaerobic bacteria that build up on the back of the tongue as a result of poor oral hygiene.

I’d be able to tell if I had bad breath

You can’t tell if you have bad breath by cupping your hands between your mouth and nose. Bad smell originates in the back of the mouth, and is expelled forwards and out of your mouth only when you speak. If you’re worried you have bad breath, ask a close friend or a family member to test it for you.

Bad breath comes from the stomach

Not always. Occasionally it can be a symptom of gastrointestinal problems. But studies show that 85 percent of bad breath issues start at the back of the mouth, where sulphur-producing bacteria hide under the surface of the tongue. That’s why cleaning your tongue with a scraper is essential for fresher breath.

I brush my teeth, so I can’t have bad breath

Brushing alone won’t get rid of all the bacteria. Invisible food particles and more bacteria hide under a thin layer of mucus in the tongue, so make sure you use a tongue scraper. And don’t forget to floss and rinse afterwards as usual.


Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes, floss once a day, clean your tongue and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash each time to keep your breath fresh.


Your Oral Care Questions

Find helpful advice on your oral health concerns in our guides created by Signal, the family dental expert