You think you've read it all, but you haven't. The direction of breath research is constantly changing, mainly because there are so many new avenues to explore. Halitosis is a complicated thing, and even seemingly simple subjects, like canker sores, can be examined from new angles.
Witness a report written by a trio of Jordanian and British oral care experts, who tested 100 people - both dentally and mentally - to see if individuals with canker sores have different personalities or psychological profiles from those who don't.
Long story short? Not really. A little more anxious maybe, but nothing too serious. And even if there was a big difference, the existence of specialty breath fresheners means that no matter how odd, neurotic or downright crazy a person is, they can still be canker sore-free.
Say ahhh...now tell me how you feel
The report, which appeared in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, is a pretty interesting read. Scientists began by recruiting 50 people who suffered from canker sores, and then 50 more who didn't.
The team then measured all participants' personalities and drew out their psychological profiles, using two tests - the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Five Factor Inventory.
Finally, the authors compared the two groups to see if people with canker sores are, say, more anxious or depressed than folks with sore-free gums and cheeks.
Overall, the results were clear. Patients with canker sores tended to report a little more anxiety than those without them, but all other measures were pretty much equal, including depression rates.
What does this mean?
Basically, the report confirms what we already know - that anxiety or stress can weaken the mouth's immune system, leading to canker sores. This oral health weakness is why it's a good idea to use specialty breath fresheners that oxygenate the palate and kill bacteria without using alcohol.
But you probably don't need to see a therapist just because you have canker sores, F.Y.I.