Halitosis is sour or bad breath. Bad breath can be a short-term syndrome or a long-term disease known as chronic halitosis. Basically, the disease indicates the need to clean the mouth and teeth.
Halitosis is often caused by poor oral hygiene, retained food particles in the mouth or gum disease.
Bad breath remedies start with cleaning and brushing the teeth and mouth to remove bacteria and food particles from the tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth.
The drugs most effective in treating halitosis are:
- Chlorhexidine: A chemical antiseptic that is effective against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. When present in high concentrations, it can kill the bacteria and makes them inactive when present in low concentrations. The drug is also effective against few fungi and virus forms. Preparations with high concentrations of this drug should be kept away from ears and eyes. The oral preparations of the drug are marketed under the brand names of Peridex, Periochip, and Perichlor.
- Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC): Used in most lozenges, mouthwashes, toothpastes, breath sprays, throat sprays, and nasal sprays. It is a chemical antiseptic and acts by killing 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: Used as a disinfectant and oxidizer, it's very effective in killing the pathogenic microbes like fungi, virus, and bacteria.
- 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 present on the market with the name Zantac. This drug is a histamine blocker and reduces the acid production in the stomach.
- Cimetidine: This drug is also effective in preventing acid reflux in the body and bad breath or halitosis that results from it. Cimetidine is also a histamine receptor blocker. It is available under the brand names Tagamet, Tagamet HB, and Tagamet HB200.
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