STEPS TO PREVENT HALITOSIS
known as bad breath, can affect any of us at any time.
About 50% of the
population suffers from halitosis.
The hard news is that it is offensive
to most people.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Most of the time (85%-90%) bad breath
originates in the mouth. It is caused by bacteria in our mouth. This
bacteria is breaking down food debris which creates by-products called volatile
sulfur compounds (methyl mercaptan and hydrogen sulfide) which emit a smell similar to rotten eggs. Because this
bacteria needs an environment free of oxygen, they will live in areas that are difficult
to reach-such as pockets around teeth; the grooves in the tongue and
especially on the back of the tongue.
In some conditions, the odor may
be caused by:
| a systemic condition, such as diabetes
| sinuses problems
| troubles with the pharynx, lungs or stomach
| respiratory tract infection
| postnasal drip
| chronic bronchitis
| gastrointestinal disturbance
| liver or kidney ailment
| poor dental hygiene
Infrequent or improper brushing and flossing can leave food
particles to decay |
in the mouth - gum disease|
infections - throat infections, sinus infections, lung
agents - Garlic, onions, coffee, cigarette smoking, chewing
| dry mouth-
caused by salivary gland problems, medications or by "mouth
illnesses - Diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung
disease, sinus disease, reflux disease|
illness - people may perceive that they have bad breath, but
it is not noticed by oral-health-care professionals
orothers, this is referred to as "pseudohalitosis."|
It is important that the
first step you take to solving a bad breath problem is to visit your medical
doctor for an examination to ensure that the cause of your bad breath is not
from a physical problem. When you have determined that it is not caused by
a medical condition you will than need to provide you dentist with a complete
medical history and tell your dentist how you determined you had malodor.
Other factors can cause bad
breath, such as :
containing mouth rinses
|foods like garlic, onion and spicy foods
|poor oral hygiene
| and certain medical disorders like radiation therapy
|EtOH is a ketone
produced from dieting|
These factors are not
the main cause of bad breath, the main culprit is oral bacteria.
What happens at a halitosis
A complete medical
Interview is done. You will
be asked: when, how long, and how often you have perceived a
charting. One reason for this is that if you have periodontal
disease the odor will be coming from the periodontal
survey to rule out any obvious problems that could be
causing an odor problem. These include food traps,
open contracts, open margins, poorly fitting fillings,
fistulas, impactions, dry mouth, pocketing, plaque
accumulation and tongue coating.
Special instructions will be
given before your office visit:
Do not brush, floss or use
mouthwash for 12 hours preceding your appointment.
No food or drink, except
water for 5 hours before the appointment.
Tobacco and alcohol products
must not be used for 12 hours
Onions, garlic and cabbage
are forbidden for 48 hours. These foods have odors
which are picked up by the blood system and are exhaled
through the lungs for several days after a meal
Do not use antibiotics for 3
weeks so as to not artificially change the micro-organism population
in the body.
Perfumes, aftershaves and
other scents are discouraged.
can be used to determine odor at exam time:
Use of the doctor nose.
An increase in VSC's will produce a characteristic unpleasant
odor, the evaluation of which can be developed though
experience and repetition.
A Halimeter can be used which
measures volatile sulfur compounds in parts per
billion. Readings below 100ppb are not detectable by
the average human nose and are considered
"normal". Above 100 ppb, a noticeable odor
begins to build and 300-400 ppb, the unpleasant odor can be
smelled from several feet away
Breath Self Test
The key to
successful treatment, is the surface of the tongue! The
dorsal surface of the tongue in cross-section is like a shag rug-papillae
forming deep crevasses which defy thorough cleaning. What
collects in this surface is plaque, sticky bacterial, cellular
debris and food particles which becomes an anaerobic incubator
of bad odors.
first step in cleansing is debridement meaning scraping of the
tongue! Due to the soft, uneven, tufted surface of the tongue
using a toothbrush for this purpose is next to useless. To prove
this point brush your tongue and then follow up by scrapping
your tongue with a tongue scraper and notice the remaining material
lift by the brush which speaks volumes about its inefficiency.
scrapper much be somewhat flexible to follow the contours
of the tongue yet rippled, ridges or "rake-like" in
profile to do a proper job. Several passes of this instrument
scarped lightly over the tongue twice a day will effectively
remove the majority of evil-smelling debris, food, and bacterial
Most over the counter products do
not eliminate bad breath. They only hide it temporarily . Most
mouthwashes contain alcohol which dries and damages soft oral tissue and ultimately leads to
even faster formation of odor causing bacteria and gum tissue damage which makes
bad breath worse ADA
reports that any mouth rinses containing more than twenty-five percent alcohol can
increase the risk of oral and pharyngeal caner by about fifty percent!
Helpful Hints For Bad Breath
10 Worst Home Remedies for Bad Breath
use...this produces sloughy, bad smelling tissue that is
worse than you breath!
Breath mints...long lasting
sugar candies subject your teeth to acid attacks and
increase your risk for cavities
Chewing gum...it only masks
Mint chew tobacco...smokeless
tobacco causes gums to recede and increases the chance
of losing the bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place
and can cause oral cancer.
items that have the ADA Seal of Approval. Unapproved items
could do more harm than good.
Alcohol........will cause dry
mouth causing bad breath.
cleanser........it is poisonous and dangerous...don't laugh
people do do this!
methods........bad breath does not originate from the
stomach. Anaerobic bacteria in your mouth produces bad
Using mouthrinses with
alcohol........dries out gum tissue and only covers bad
breath it does not deal with the cause.
Tongue piercing...allow you
to harbor more bacteria on your tongue where sulfur compounds
that cause bad breath live.
Dentistry Today pg 42 February 2003
Bad taste can
be caused by benzodiazopenes, new restorations, oxidation of the
older metallic fillings (galvanism) and saliva acidity, you have
also the "fork" syndrome when touching one of these fillings
that can cause metallic taste. Also these conditions can
cause metallic taste in mouth:1.Gastritis 2. G.E.R.D. 3.
Jaundice4. Lead poisoning
5. Post nasal drip 6. Scombrotoxic fish poisoning 7. Heartburn 8.
Tooth abscess. Feverfew and chromium may cause this condition.
Echinacea can cause tongue tingling.
bacteria associated with halitosis identified
Employing an advanced DNA sequencing technique,
investigators from the State University of New York at Buffalo
have identified several previously unknown bacteria related
to chronic halitosis that may offer new avenues for
treatment of the affliction.
For their study, the UB investigators employed a new
identification method called universal polymerase chain
reaction, or universal PCR, to identify more oral bacteria that
may be implicated in halitosis.
The technique permits the analysis of any short sequence of DNA
or RNA by amplifying selected sections of
Tongue scrapings from six adults with persistent
halitosis were analyzed using both bacterial cultures and
universal PCR. While the cultures revealed significant
proportions of six bacteria previously implicated in halitosis,
they also contained bacteria whose species could not be
identified, the UB investigators said.
In contrast, the universal PCR analysis identified the unknown
species as well as four others not previously associated with
halitosis — atopobium, erysipelothrix, firmicutes and
granulicatella. The technique also revealed the presence of
Solobacterium mooreii, which has recently been implicated in bad
breath. The investigators said that since halitosis
therapies focus on reducing the concentrations of oral bacteria
that cause bad breath,
identifying more of the bacteria can lead to more effective
Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) says that sugarless yogurts
could help people beat bad breath while also fighting tooth
decay and gum disease.
The Foundation was talking after researchers in Japan revealed
that eating traditional, sugarless yogurt reduces the malodorous
compounds that cause bad breath.
Volunteers in the study were given strict instructions for oral
hygiene, diet and medication intake. They then spent two weeks
avoiding yogurts and similar foods such as cheese before moving
on to consume 90 grams of yoghurt a day for six weeks.
The study found that after six weeks the hydrogen sulphide
levels (a major cause of halitosis) decreased in 80
percent of volunteers who had bad breath. Bad breath affects
one in four people on a regular basis, while 19
out of 20 people are affected by gum disease at some point in
The study focused on the
psychosocial and breath odor history. . Society uses odor as
a means to define and interact with the world. The olfactory,
smelling experience is intimate, emotionally charged and
connects us with the world. It follows that the smell from
mouth breath odor can connect or disconnect a person from
their social environment and intimate relationships. How one
experiences one's own body is very personal and private but
also very public. Breath odour is public as it occurs within a
social and cultural context and personal as it affects
one's body image and self-confidence. Body image,
self-image and social relations mesh, interact and impact upon
each other. Breath odor is a dynamic and interactive aspect of
the self-image. In addition, breath odor may be value-coded as
'bad'. In 75% of the cases reviewed, decreased
self-confidence and insecurity in social and intimate
relations led clients to seek treatment at the specialized
breath odor clinic. When a person perceives a
constant bad breath problem, she/he uses defense techniques,
and may avoid social situations and social relations. This affects
a person's well-being.
International Journal of Dental Hygiene Volume
1 Issue 4 Page 213 - November 2003 Social relations and breath
odor L McKeown
Tea Fights Bad Breath
Compounds found in tea can
stop the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath, .
Polyphenols, chemical components of tea, prevent both the
growth of bacteria responsible for bad breath and the
bacteria's production of malodorous compounds. It is
caused by foul-smelling volatile sulphur compounds, like
hydrogen sulphide, produced by anaerobic bacteria that thrive
in environments lacking oxygen, such as the back of the tongue
and deep gum pockets. The polyphenols found in tea include
chemicals called catechins and theaflavins. Catechins are
found in both green and black teas, while theaflavins are
found predominantly in black tea.
Key ingredients to look for in
a product for bad breath treatment:
These are on top as
controlling agents for volatile sulphur and volatile organic
compounds (the actual "smelling stuff" of halitosis).#
Wish you could sweeten
your breath . . . and the breath of people around you? Serve cranberries.
Cranberries just may have
the power to crush the offensive-smelling bacteria that can build up in your
mouth and lead to bad breath. Apparently, the tart berries make the bacteria
less sticky, so plaque is less likely to form. Plaque not only makes your breath
less than aromatic, but also it can lead to cavities and gum disease.
RealAge Benefit: Flossing and brushing your teeth daily can make your RealAge as
much as 6.4 years younger 9/00
Watch Your Tongue!
Do friends offer you mints when you get too
close? Brushing your teeth twice a day may not be enough. Your tongue needs
Malodorous, plaque-causing bacteria not only
build up on your teeth, but they also can build up on your tongue.
RealAge Benefit: Flossing and brushing your teeth daily can make your RealAge as
much as 6.4 years younger. 10/00
~We have NO financial
interest in this company.
Researchers Identify Bacteria Associated With
Good and Bad Breath, RDH on line,3/03
Resource: Back to the Basics in Breath
Treatment. by Dr. Melvin Babad, Dental Equipment &
Materials May 2001 pgs 54-57
#IDF, Mel Rosenberg, PhD., a professor of microbiology at the
School of Dental Medicine at Tel
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