Bad Breath Treatments (Halitosis)

Chronic smells of the mouth

Last modified: September 19, 2011

Dr Luana O'Connor

Happy Dental Romania
and Contributing Writer

Bad Breath Treatments (Halitosis)

Bad Breath Treatments (Halitosis)

Bad breath is natural, and you will find it in everyone with differing degrees. It does not matter how much you brush, floss, deep gargle mouth wash you will still have germs in your mouth that will cause smells to emanate from your mouth every day.

The Cause of Bad Breath

The root of bad breath is a bacteria, in fact an anaerobic sulfur producing bacteria. The bacteria are located and live within the surface of your tongue and in your throat. They are nothing to worry about as they occur naturally in your body. These bacteria assist you and your body with digestion by breaking down proteins. These proteins are found in food, mucus, blood and in decayed teeth and oral tissue. Not nice I know but this is the root cause of bad breath.

These bacteria, under certain conditions, will be breaking down proteins at an immense rate. The proteins consist of amino acids, of which two of them, cysteine and methionine, are heavily loaded with sulfur. When the bacteria is breaking down the proteins into amino acids the amount of sulfur produced by the bacteria is increased and this results in bad breath. Halitosis is here!

As the bacteria devours the proteins in your mouth the sulfur elements are created and released near the back of the tongue and from the area of your throat. The bacteria creates, as waste hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercapatam plus more odorous and nasty tasting elements which combine to create what we call “Volatile Sulfur Compounds” (VSC). This combined process is the  how bad breath is created in your mouth and if you do not treat the root causes of VSC your bad breath will continue to get worse and worse.

How to Rid Yourself of Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Understanding the process of how bad breath occurs is one thing but reaching remedies that will treat bad breath is what we are striving for every day.

The key thing to remember is that bad breath is NOT a disease, nor is the bacteria that creates bad breath an infection, a sign of ill health or poor hygiene. Every mouth has the same group of bacteria, you can’t catch bad breath from anyone else, so kissing people is fine but if you have bad breath you might not get kissed too much.

All that is going in your mouth is that the bacteria is working on digesting proteins, but depending on the foods you eat, the amount you eat defines how much and how hard the bacteria are working and in line with that how much sulfur they are producing. The bacteria are part of everyone’s oral flora, so you can't remove them from your mouth on a permanent basis with the use of tongue scraping, antibiotics or special rinses which claim to remove the bacteria’s from your tongue.

So far the only scientifically and clinically proven effective method of dampening down halitosis is to attack the bacteria and its ability to produce VSC and try to convert the VSC’s to a more non-odorous out put. What needs to be done is to slow down the amount of sulfur produced by the bacteria when it is breaking down proteins into amino acids.

Treatment for Bad Breath (Halitosis)

One of the simplest solutions is to “Xylitol” based chewing gum which will help you decrease your bad breath. The xylitol will help your mouth oxygenate which inhibits the bacteria’s ability to produce sulfur. You should also visit your dentist for a complete check up as healthy teeth and gums also inhibit the bacteria producing excessive sulfur elements.

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