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Colonial Dental Group Cosmetic Dentistry Blog - Dooley, Lewis, and Quezada

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Treatments for Bad Breath

Most of the time, bad breath originates in the mouth and is caused by bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria breaks down food and creates by-products called volatile sulfur compounds which emit a smell similar to rotten eggs. There are other factors that can cause bad breath including medical conditions and tobacco products.

I will take a complete medical history and evaluate you to see if you suffer from halitosis (bad breath). He will then determine if there's an increased amount of VSC's (volatile sulfur compounds) in your mouth. An increase in VSC's will produce a characteristic unpleasant odor. A Halimeter can also be used to measure VSC's in parts per billion. Readings below 100ppb are not detectable by the average human nose and are considered normal. Above 100ppb, a noticeable odor begins to build and 300-400ppb, the unpleasant odor can be smelled several feet away.

The key to successful treatment of halitosis is the surface of the tongue. The dorsal surface of the tongue is similar to a shag rug. Plaque, sticky bacterial debris, and food particles collect on the surface of the tongue and bad odors are created.

The first step in cleansing your mouth to avoid halitosis is a good scraping of the tongue. A toothbrush does not serve this purpose well; a tongue scraper should be used instead. The tongue scraper must be somewhat flexible to follow the contours of the tongue yet rippled in profile to do a proper cleansing job. Most over-the-counter products do not eliminate bad breath; they only hide it for a short time. Most mouthwashes contain alcohol which dries and damages soft tissue in your mouth and actually leads to faster formation of odor-causing bacteria and gum tissue damage making your bad breath worse.

The worst remedies for bad breath are:

  • Excessive mouthwash use
  • Breath mints
  • Alcohol
  • Intestinal cleansing methods

Store shelves are overflowing with bad breath remedies that simply do not work. Those remedies may temporarily hide bad breath, but they do nothing to eliminate it.

If you feel you have a problem with bad breath, I can evaluate you in my office and recommend some treatments to eliminate this embarrassing problem.

If you would like to learn more about this dental topic or any other, please call or email today to schedule an appointment with the Colonial Dental Group, serving cosmetic dentistry patients in Glenview and throughout the Northern Chicago area.

posted by Patti at 1:24 PM


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1775 Glenview Rd.
Suite 107
Glenview, Illinois 60025-2969