Afraid of bad breath–yours, not somebody else’s? If so, you suffer from halitophobia. Halitophobia is the fear of halitosis, or severe bad breath. Up to 25% of people claiming to have halitosis actually don’t; they are simply halitophobic.

But bad breath is a problem. 25% of all adults have chronic bad breath, while the numbers might be as high as 50% in older adults. Fortunately, scientists think they may have found a solution. A group at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine have found that brushing twice a day with a toothpaste containing triclosan and scraping the tongue surface eliminated halitosis. The researchers tested people before and after using they toothpaste and tongue scraper by measuring mouth air levels of odor-causing bacteria and analyzing tongue scrapings for 20 species of bacteria known to cause bad breath. They found odor levels to decrease by 75%.

Nice. Let’s all let out a big shout for the Bad Breath Busters. We all know some people who can use a little triclosan, and we all know some that we’d like to send a barrelfull. But for now we can rest assured that some very serious scientists are on the halito-patrol. And I can go have that garlic omelet in peace.

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