Halitosis or bad breath as it is commonly known affects a large percentage of the population. Many people are concerned about bad breath and it can have a significant affect on their social and family lives. Most cases of bad breath (75%) relate to mouth problems including tongue coating, gum disease and decay. Dental problems such as these are usually very easily treated.
The same groups of bacteria are associated with bad breath as are associated with gum disease (periodontal disease). Patients with periodontal disease have 6 times more tongue coating of these smelly bacteria than patients with healthy gums.
A Halimeter is a machine that measures the odours from the mouth. These sulphur containing odours are produced by bacteria in the mouth.
Medcial problems such as diabetes that dry the mouth and increase the levels of bacteria also contribute to halitosis. Interestingly there are quite a few people who think they have bad breath when they do not, only requiring reassurance and regular periodontal maintenance.
Using mouthwashes only masks the problem
Successful long-term solutions involve attaining a healthy mouth free of gum disease and decay. Proper home care techniques including brushing, flossing and tongue scraping keep the bacterial levels of smelly bacteria at bay.
At dental institutes, we examine the reasons why people have bad breath and measure the levels of odour if appropriate. This baseline measurement can be used to judge the success of treatment. We provide comprehensive examinations of the gums and oral tissues and provide appropriate periodontal care or referral to a wide number of experts in oral and medical care. If bad breath persists then patients are referred for further investigations for less common causes of bad breath such as stomach problems.