Finally something that will not just cover up bad breath like mint but get to the root of the problem - by killing the bacteria that actually causes bad breath.
Magnolia bark extract -- a traditional Chinese medicine -- may be the newest weapon in the war on bad breath. Chewing gum maker Wm Wrigley Jr Co said on Tuesday that it has added a bit of this germ-killing compound to their Eclipse gum and mints. The hope is to not simply mask bad breath, as most strongly flavored mints and gums do, but to kill odor-causing bacteria.
Magnolia bark extract has long been a staple of traditional Chinese medicine. It is used to treat fever, headache and stress -- and has proven effective against germs that cause ulcers. Recent studies have shown it has low toxicity and few side effects.
Most bad breath occurs when bacteria in the mouth break down proteins, producing foul-smelling sulfur compounds. But many antimicrobial agents cause nasty side effects like tooth staining, making them impractical for oral care. (Reuters)