Bad breath gum is chewing gum used to make a person’s breath smell cleaner and fresher. Some bad breath gum works by covering foul-smelling breath with minty or cinnamon-like fragrances. This type of gum also works to stimulate the production of saliva, which serves as a natural breath freshener. There is some gum, however, that contains ingredients researchers have identified as uniquely capable of getting rid of bad breath, including essential oils that inhibit bacterial growth.
When a person chews bad breath gum, she typically releases scents of mint or cinnamon from the gum, covering or masking the bad smells. The fresh scents don’t really make the offensive smells go away, however. They merely cover them temporarily, meaning bad breath returns when they wear off. In fact, they may not even cover the odors completely. If a person eats something with a strong smell, such as garlic, chewing minty gum may only make her breath smell like mint and garlic at the same time.
Chewing is the action that may save a bad breath gum from being a masking agent alone. When a person chews gum, he stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps to put an end to bad breath in two ways. First, it flushes bad-breath-causing bacteria out of a person’s mouth as well as any leftover food particles that contribute to mouth odor. Second, there are enzymes naturally present in a person’s saliva that are capable of killing odor-causing bacteria.
The fact that chewing gum keeps the mouth moist is one of the main reasons it works so well against bad breath. Dry mouths are more likely to have offensive odors. This is why people who have a medical condition called dry mouth are more likely to have bad breath than others. It is also the reason some medications can cause bad breath.
There is some bad breath gum that has ingredients particularly good for fighting bad breath. For example, some gum is made with plant essential oils that stop or slow bacterial growth. This may help to prevent not only bad breath, but also cavities.
While any gum, whether or not it is labeled for fighting bad breath, may work to increase saliva production and prevent bad breath, sugar-free varieties may be the best choice. This is because gum that contains sugar also contributes to the development of cavities. Cavities, in turn, contribute to the development of bad breath.