When it comes to recognizing and treating bad breath, new research suggests that you shouldn't necessarily rely on your dentist to do all the legwork. A study conducted among a group of dental school students found that many were unaware of the oral causes of, and appropriate treatments for, halitosis.
The report appeared in the Portuguese Journal of Stomatology, Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery. In it, oral health experts from Spain's University of Seville revealed that nearly half of the surveyed dentistry students assumed that bad breath begins in the stomach.
How can this be? After all, a simple online search will reveal that nearly every oral health organization - not least among them, the American Dental Association - estimates that about 90 percent of all bad breath originates in the mouth.
So what is going on in Spain? The authors suggested that the surveyed dental school enrollees knew about the condition itself but were simply uninformed about f the wide-ranging implications of halitosis.
Overall, seven in 10 students indicated that they would not bring up oral odor during a routine teeth cleaning. Likewise, more than one half of the cohort did not know which specialty mouth-cleansing products are the most effective at treating bad breath.
That said, most respondents displayed interest in learning more about halitosis. This detail is encouraging, since a 2003 study appearing in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice found that more than one third of all dentists report having bad breath themselves.
Not only that, but plenty of volunteers, particularly men, reported not brushing regularly. The study noted that 19 percent of male dentists admitted to rarely picking up a toothbrush. These men also smoked at roughly six times the rate at which female dentists did.
So whether you are in the dentist's chair or holding the mouth mirror and sickle probe, it's important that you know which odor-neutralizing products are best for treating bad breath.