Have you noticed a painful little white spot on the inside of your lips or cheeks? If you have, you may be suffering from a canker sore, which is one of nature's little reminders that you may have bad breath. After all, both conditions are caused by the bacteria that live in your mouth, and - fortunately - both can be cleared up with specialty breath freshening products.
Technically, a canker sore is called an "aphthous ulcer." Unlike colds sores, which occur on the outside of the lips and are caused by a virus, canker sores are bacterial in origin. It isn't microbes alone that cause them, though. They need something to lower your mouth's natural immunity first.
This means that things like food allergies, stress, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal changes or (most commonly) scraped or bitten tissue can lead to canker sores. The National Institutes of Health states that anyone can develop aphthous ulcers.
Fortunately, anyone can get rid of them too. Typically, it doesn't take expensive prescription creams or poultices to eliminate them. By simply using a specialty breath freshening rinse or toothpaste, you may be able to knock out the bacterial infection that is causing the sore.
While you're at it, this sort of basic treatment can reduce halitosis. After all, some of the same bacteria that cause canker sores also create volatile sulfur compounds, which are the bad-smelling molecules that tinge your breath with a funky stench.
Most oral health experts recommend using products that don't contain alcohol or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Alcohol can be extremely painful when applied to a canker sore, and SLS, a detergent found in cheap mouthwashes, can actually cause these sores in the first place!
It's best to stick to the all-natural specialty products, which can clear up canker sores quickly and painlessly.