Each evening when I leave work I smell the pizza ovens over at Village Pizza pumping out a wonderful and hard to resist aroma. After an Italian meal your breath isn’t nearly as inviting. So, why does garlic smell so bad and stick around long past dinner time? And a even better questions, ‘Is there a way to make the smell go away?’ If you’ve seen SciShow before you’ll know that they may not have the answer, but what they will tell you is basically accurate and based in real science.
They discuss sulfur containing compounds as the root cause of garlic breath. In fact, sulfur compounds are the basis for nearly all types of bad breath. You know, the rotten egg smell. It comes from decaying plant matter (not brushing your teeth after a meal). Sulfur compounds are also byproducts of many of the bacteria that cause gum disease.
Your body has natural ways of breaking down sulfur compounds or preventing them from being produced. The most effective strategy in the mouth is your natural saliva. Your saliva contains highly effective enzymes, buffering compounds, and anti-bacterials. But if you suffer from dry mouth, a lack of saliva, your natural protection is removed and almost inevitably you will have bad breath.
The best treatment for bad breath is often to support the body’s natural defenses. Keep hydrated. Chew gum to increase saliva flow. Make sure your mouth is clean and disease free.