BAD BREATH - The Misconception

There’s still a common misconception that the stomach is the cause of bad breath. This idea is not at all supported by research or current thinking in dental circles, which concludes that bad breath is caused by bacteria on the tongue, and that tongue cleaning or tongue scraping is the best remedy for bad breath!

According to the latest scientific research on halitosis (bad breath), the majority of bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth. In an article published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (April 1996), Dr. Mel Rosenberg cites 6 research references in concluding that “in 85% of people with bad breath the bad odor originates in the mouth.” He further says that: “Gentle but effective deep tongue cleaning should become a part of the daily hygiene routine.”

Bad breath from the stomach is so rare, that of a thousand people treated for bad breath by a leading halitosis researcher, not a single case was caused by gastrointestinal problems.

On the investigative news program “20/20”, ABC News Medical Editor Dr. Timothy Johnson explained that most bad breath is produced by a type of bacteria in the back of the mouth, particularly on the back of the tongue.

According to dentist and consumer advisor Dr. Richard Price on the Today Show, the only time the stomach can cause a problem is when you burp. This is because there are valves to prevent air escaping and the esophagus is normally closed (“collapsed”).