Are Video Games One of the Causes of Halitosis?

Could video games be one of the many causes of halitosis? Before you scoff or write the idea off as balderdash, remember that many activities can contribute to bad breath in subtle but undeniably real ways.

A similar question was asked in a recent edition of The Straight Dope, a nationally syndicated question-and-answer newspaper column. A reader wrote in to inquire of writer and resident expert Cecil Adams: What is the influence of video games on the human mind?

In responding, Adams made this comment: “The common view…is that video games rot your mind, sap your strength and probably give you acne and bad breath.”

This statement begs the question, can video games actually give you bad breath? And if so, how might they do it? While there’s not a lot of research on the subject, it’s pretty easy to demonstrate that, yes, video games are indeed one of the causes of halitosis. Fortunately, this form of bad breath is easily resolved through the use of specialty breath freshening products.

Studies have addressed dozens of health problems related to video gaming, including dark rings under the eyes, joint stiffness, vision damage, muscular strain and repetitive stress injuries with whimsical names, like “Playstation thumb” and “Nintendinitis.”

News reports have even publicized rare instances of gaming addicts starving to death at their consoles.

But what of bad breath? Here are some things to consider when playing video games:

- Gaming can be stressful. Anxiety dries out the mouth, allowing odor-causing bacteria to run wild.

- Gamers may forget to hydrate. This is another inroad that microbes can use in the creation of halitosis.

- When playing video games, some children (and adults) do not eat very healthily. A poor diet, one laden with fats or sugars, gives oral microorganisms plenty to munch on. Likewise, some pungent foods simply stain your mouth with smelly compounds, leaving your oral cavity smelling awful.

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