Author: Frank Soltiz/Friday, December 13, 2013/Categories: DENTAL HEALTH
After tooth decay and gum disease, con¬cerns about bad breath is the most common reason people go to the dentist. There are many causes for bad breath, also called halitosis. Many of the germs that naturally grow in the mouth are capable of producing "volitile sulphur compounds" which is the odor we associate with bad breath. Evalu¬ating a patient's oral hygiene is the first step in addressing breath care concerns. Many times, daily flossing can eliminate the germs that cause halitosis. Obviously, decayed teeth harbor odor producing bacte¬ria. Repairing cavities is a big help. Recent studies have shown that a large number of odor producing germs grow on the back of the tongue. Tongue scraping is the best way to remove these germs. There are several devices available for tongue scraping. My favorite is a flexible plastic blade that can be bent into a "U"-shape and be placed far¬back on the tongue to remove that offending bacteria. It has been shown that scraping is much more effective than brushing the tongue.
Most bad breath originates in the mouth and rarely from the stomach or lungs. Dry mouth can cause an over growth of odor pro¬ducing bacteria. Drinking water and avoid¬ing dehydration is important. For the most part, mouthwashes are a temporary cover up for bad breath. Alcohol in mouth washes can contribute to dehydration. There are some mouthwashes available through your dentist that kill bacteria and actually neu¬tralize volatile sulphur compounds. Bad breath is a delicate issue. Your dentist is well prepared to help you find an affective solution.
Presented in the interest of promoting a better dental health environment from the office of:
Frank Soltiz, DDS
Alden, New York 14004
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