Halitosis: Latest Medical Breakthroughs

Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011 12:34 PM

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In medical terminology, bad breath is referred to as halitosis. Halitosis can be caused by a variety of factors, but the most common cause of bad breath is poor dental hygiene. Those who don't brush their teeth on a regular basis give an open invitation to bacteria. When bacteria act on food debris in your mouth, it leads to bad breath. Brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly may reduce bad breath. Some dental hygienists recommend brushing your tongue, since it scrapes off large amounts of bacteria.
 
If you are suffering from halitosis, dont worry, because it is a highly treatable condition.
 
Some of the latest medical breakthroughs in the treatment for halitosis are:
 
1. Avoiding dry mouth. One of the known causes of halitosis is a condition called dry mouth. Your physician can tell you if you are taking medications that can cause dry mouth or if you have other medical conditions that may predispose you to dry mouth and bad breath. In either case, chewing gum may stimulate saliva to help prevent dry mouth. Keeping your body properly hydrated can reduce dry mouth. 
 
2. Vitamin C deficiency. A deficiency of vitamin C is also considered to be a factor that promotes bad breath. Smokers especially should take regular supplements of vitamin C since nicotine destroys vitamin C.  
 
3. Use a mouthwash. The latest research on the treatment of halitosis has revealed that the regular use of mouthwash is good for you. Mouthwashes do the same thing as rinsing the mouth with water, but they have an added advantage due to the presence of odor neutralizing substances such as cetylpyridinium chloride, zinc chloride, or chlorhexidine. These help treat halitosis, so look for products containing these compounds.
 
4. Zinc. In some chronic halitosis cases, the cure can involve the regular use of zinc and related compounds. Zinc has complex effects on the plaque forming process. The latest research has suggested that zinc salts combined with ionone, an ingredient of tomato juice, appear to produce an anti-plaque and anti-odor effect.  

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