Halitosis is the medical term for sour or bad breath. Bad breath can be a short term syndrome or a long term disease known as chronic halitosis. The disease indicates the need for cleaning the mouth and teeth. The disease is often caused by ignored oral hygiene and bad mouth cleaning habits. The disease can also be caused by retained food particles in the mouth or because of a gum disease.
Bad breath remedies first include the cleaning and brushing of the teeth and mouth. The cleaning is done to remove the bacteria and food particles from the tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth.
The top five drugs effective in treating halitosis are –
- Chlorhexidine: It is a chemical antiseptic and is effective against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The drug possesses both types of mode of action against bacteria viz. bacteriostatic and bactericidal. The drug, when present in high concentrations, can kill the bacteria and make them inactive when present in low concentrations. The drug is also effective against forms of fungi and virus. High concentrations of this drug should be kept away from the ears and eyes. Apart from the use in oral mouthwashes, it also finds use as a preservative in low concentrations. Oral preparations of the drug are marketed under the brand names Peridex, Periochip, and Perichlor.
- Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC): It is used in most lozenges, mouthwashes, toothpastes, breath sprays, throat sprays, and nasal sprays. It is a chemical antiseptic and acts mostly by the bactericidal mode of action i.e. it kills the bacteria and other microbes of a similar nature. The drug is also effective in the protection of the teeth against dental plaque and gingivitis.
- Chlorine dioxide: It is used as a disinfectant and oxidizer and is very effective in killing pathogenic microbes like fungi, virus, and bacteria. The drug is also effective for removing the bio-film. It is used in oral preparations in low concentrations and may even be used against anthrax bacteria in high concentrations.
- Ranitidine: Acid reflux is a situation in which the liquid and digested contents of the stomach are pushed back into the esophagus which causes bad breath or halitosis. Ranitidine is effective in preventing this situation and is available on the market under the brand name Zantac. This drug is a histamine blocker and reduces acid production in the stomach.
- Cimetidine: This drug is also effective in preventing acid reflux and halitosis. Cimetidine is also a histamine receptor blocker. It is availavle on the market under the brand names Tagamet, Tagamet HB, and Tagamet HB200.
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