Halitosis effects around 25% of the population in the world today. Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is the third leading cause for dental clinic visits. Although common around the world, chronic halitosis is poorly understood by researchers and scientists. This may be due to the complex interactions between the bacteria in the mouth and the mouth’s ecosystem itself.

Most dentists like Dr. Rearden at Village Family Dental in Myrtle Beach, SC would recommend cleaning the tongue, since the tongue is the major location for halitosis. The tongue has a large surface area and is well supplied with water and food debris. This, along with having the proper temperature, makes the tongue a prime candidate for bacterial growth.

Cleaning the tongue is vital for fresh breath. A tongue cleaner or tongue scraper is used to clean the tongue by scraping or sweeping away the bacterial growth and food debris deposits. Tongue cleaning is often accompanied by tooth brushing which removes the dislodged bacteria and food debris. However, aggressive tongue cleaning may lead to damage of the taste buds and may lacerate the tongue which can lead to infection.

Chewing sugar-free gum can also lead to fresh breath. Gum chewing promotes the production of saliva which protects teeth and helps in keeping down bacterial growth. Increased saliva production keeps the mouth and tongue lubricated and wet; a dry mouth is commonly known to produce malodorous breath. Avoiding a dry mouth helps in maintaining good breath. Various home remedies such as chewing fennel seeds, cinnamon sticks, and fresh parsley are popular remedies for a bad breath and such items are usually available in the kitchen.

Gargling mouth wash after meals can help reduce bad breath because it dislodges and removes the bacteria and food debris in the mouth. Commercial mouth wash may also have active compounds which inactivate odor-related compounds and keeps down the bacterial growth. Several ingredients in toothpastes are usually inactivated by the detergent in the toothpaste; hence it is not recommended to rinse your mouth immediately after brushing with a tooth paste. Commercial mouthwashes contain active ingredients such as zinc, chlorine, alcohol and others, which are proven to be effective against bad breath.

Tooth brushing and flossing daily also helps in reducing bad breath. By brushing and flossing on a regular basis, bacteria in the teeth and the tongue will be removed. In fact, brushing daily 2-3 times per day is an effective prevention for halitosis. Combining different methods of prevention provides a synergistic effect and may be more effective than a single method.

If you follow these methods and you still suffer from bad breath, contact Village Family Dental in Myrtle Beach, SC today to see if there are any underlying dental problems that need to be addressed.

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