THE BLOG

The Quest to Slay Bad Breath!

04/18/2013 04:13 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2013
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I've been away from The Huffington Post for a few months because I've been on an important quest -- to help get rid of bad breath once and for all. And I want to tell you a little about what I found in my journeys.

Actually, my journey was personal, as I spearheaded the development of line of bad breath products carrying my name. It was pretty exciting. And scary. And educational. I learned more about bad breath over the past year than most people learn in a lifetime. (In fact, last year I did an entire series of posts on bad breath, outlining the different "types.")

So anyway, I got interested in bad breath because as a NYC Cosmetic Dentist, I see a lot of bad breath. And I answer a lot of questions regarding bad breath, too.

The biggest question I get is what causes bad breath. Truthfully, there are a lot of different causes -- food, tobacco, dry mouth, alcohol, poor oral hygiene... the list is almost endless.

But truthfully, most of those are precursors to the real culprit -- volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). VSCs are the common result of the previous "causes" I just listed, and are really the true cause of bad breath. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Again, "Halitosis is caused mainly by volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) such as H(2)S and CH(3)SH produced in the oral cavity." Indeed, a lot of research went into this as I developed my product.

So essentially, I was left with a choice -- since I wanted to join the fight against bad breath/halitosis, which direction should I go? Should I go the coverup route and come out with Connelly Mints or something similar? Or should I get a little more scientific and look to attack the VSCs? Of course, one (the mints) sounds a lot easier than the other (attacking sulfur... how do you do that?). So of course, me being me, I went the hardest route possible (to tell you the truth, it isn't that I gravitate to the harder route -- I just wanted to develop what I think is the most effective bad breath solution, so I went more with the chemistry route than "Dr Connelly's Breath Bombs" -- although you have to admit, that's a pretty cool-sounding name).

Anyway, attacking the sulfur was the way to go. So I studied. And my research led me to zinc.

You've heard of zinc, right? It's that mineral at the end of almost every USDA information label you see. But it's more than just a funny-sounding mineral beginning with the letter Z -- it's actually very effective in reducing and eliminating volatile sulfur compounds, and, therefore, eliminating bad breath. About zinc, the Mayo Clinic said, "Chewing gum containing zinc or rinsing out the mouth with a solution containing zinc seemed to reduce bad breath (halitosis) in early studies." And the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health did a study on it and wrote: "Chewing gum containing zinc acetate and magnoliabark extract can significantly reduce the oral VSC levels for more than one hour."

So basically, the consensus is that zinc can reduce VSCs for a significant period of time ("more than one hour," as stated in the NLMNIH study). But you know what's interesting -- in my own research in developing my product, I found that it works for up to four hours. I can't link you to a study there, as it would be just me writing, but I can tell you as a professional dentist who developed this that yes, zinc works, and it works for a long time.

Okay, you've read far enough about my journey and the process of developing the product -- let me give you the link to the product website. (To be clear, this isn't a link for you to go buy it -- it's to read about it if it so interests you since I've talked about it and blogged about bad breath so much. Indeed, the website isn't even fully functional yet in terms of sales -- we sell most of the product on QVC.) But the website for my creation is here.

People have asked "Why 32?" as the name. Can you guess why? I'll give you a second or two to think about if before I blurt out the answer... tick tock... tick tock...

Ready??

It's because a healthy adult has 32 teeth. (Although there are exceptions, but the common number is 32.)

Anyway, that's where I've been. But now that we're done developing, you can look forward to more posts from me.

Until next time, keep smiling!!

For more by Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S., click here.

For more on dental health, click here.