(704) 540-2255

Bad breath- how to get rid of it

Bad Breath is incredibly common, but is uncomfortable for most people to talk about.  Although there are several leading causes of bad breath, some of our foods can cause some of the scariest smelling breath.  That cheeseburger with the extra onions may have been very tasty, but everyone else will be frightened away the minute you open your mouth.

Big-brand dental products may mask the smell of bad breath temporarily by using short-lived flavor additives, dyes, and moisture robbing alcohol, but those ingredients do not get to the heart of the problem.  One of the largest companies producing mouthwash claims to “kill the germs that cause bad breath.”  Ironically, killing these bad breath bacteria may even be making the problem worse!  You see, it is not bacteria that cause bad breath; it is the volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), the bacterial by-products that turn your breath sour.  VSCs result from dead bacteria and epithelial cells.  When alcohol is used to destroy these germs or bacteria, it may be fueling the carrier of bad breath by producing even more dead bacteria.

We have treated “bad breath” or halitosis for years at Ballantyne Center for Dentistry very successfully using a system containing Oxygene or chlorine dioxide.  Oxygene safely attacks and neutralizes VSCs through an oxidation process.

At Ballantyne Center for Dentistry, here in Charlotte, we conduct what we like to call “The Onion Test.” Basically, we stuck an onion in a jar of Oxygene containing mouth rinse and one in a jar of brand-name mouth rinse.  The onion was diced into 1/4-inch pieces.  Then we placed half of the chopped onion in each container.  Finally, we added enough of each mouth rinse to cover the onion in the containers, sealed them and let them sit overnight.  Whichever managed to keep the foul-smelling onion at bay would clearly be the best.     Just by looking, we could see the dyes from the brand-name mouth rinse soaked into the onion, staining it blue.  The Oxygene containing jar onion was still bright white.  We went to that jar, unscrewed the top, and carefully inhaled.  What we got was a surprisingly fresh, minty scent, with little to no onion smell!  We then turned to the name-brand container.  When we cracked the lid on the blue jar, we jumped back.  A stench of onions, alcohol and mint all invaded our nasal passages, fighting for supremacy.  After tamping the lid back down, we went back to the Oxygene containing jar just to clear our noses.

Although this was not really a “scientific” test or study, it definitely proved to us that alcohol-containing products are not as effective at neutralizing odor as Oxygene containing products.  Several products contain chlorine dioxide on the market, but rarely if ever have I seen them sold over the counter in supermarkets or pharmacies.  Most of these bad breath-killing products are sold either directly to or through dental offices.  In addition, often times using a “system” of products can work far better than using just a mouth rinse.  The best place to start on your journey to better breath is with an exam from your local Charlotte dentist or dental hygienist.  They can help you identify what might be causing your halitosis and put together a plan that gets you a sparkly fresh mouth.

For information about breath odor problems or treatment, feel free to call us at (704) 540-2255 or visit us as Ballantyne Center for Dentistry, here in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte.

6

Our Hygeine Department Answers Your Questions

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As some of you know, in our practice we have three very talented and experienced dental hygienists.  All three of them are exceptionally good clinicians and we (Dr. Joe and I) like to think we have the BEST hygiene department in the city of Charlotte, maybe the state of North Carolina!  Anyway, All three of them frequently get asked the same questions and so we decided to post them on our blog.  Hopefully, this post will be of some help to you if your are a current patient, or maybe just looking for answers.

1.       “Why do I have to have “x-rays” taken every year?  Aren’t too many x-rays dangerous?”    X-rays or radiographs are needed to properly diagnose conditions in the mouth and to ensure that your examinations are thorough.  Many problems cannot be detected by simply looking inside your mouth.  Yes, too many x-rays can be dangerous.  That is why we follow the guidelines set forth in the research and use digital technology.  X-rays that have to be developed using chemicals require significantly higher doses of radiation (up to 10 times more).  The x-rays we use take so little radiation that you are more likely to get more taking a flight from  Charlotte to Atlanta.

2.        “Why does the dentist and hygienist want to know so much about my general health and all the medications/supplements that I may be taking?”   Many health conditions and medications can cause or increase the deterioration of your teeth, jaw bone and gums. Some medications and previous surgeries/hospitalizations may require the dental staff to postpone or alter your dental treatment for the safety of your general health.

3.      What’s the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis “gum disease?”  Gingivitis  is an inflammatory condition or infection in the gums.  This is the first stage of periodontal disease but the condition is reversible.  Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease involving the gums and supporting structures (jaw bone) of the teeth.  If not treated, it can lead to tooth mobility and eventual tooth loss.

4.    “I’ve been going to the dentist regularly all my life but the hygienist thinks I have gum disease.” How can this be possible, especially since I was just there 6 months ago and nothing was mentioned?”  Periodontal disease can strike at any age, even adolescents can contract it.  The disease is affected by many factors and significant deterioration can occur in as little as 4 months time.

5.     “Is there a cure for periodontal disease?”  There is no cure, but the disease is treatable and it must be managed and monitored after treatment.  The severity of the condition determines how it will be treated and managed.

6.     “What causes periodontal disease?”  There are many conditions/factors that can cause periodontal disease to become active.

Hormonal changes
Nutritional disorders and deficiencies
Drugs
Psychological (emotional) factors, stress, fatigue and anxiety
Genetics
Metabolic diseases (ie. diabetes)
Blood diseases and disturbances (ie. anemia, leukemia)
Poor oral hygiene
Clenching and grinding of teeth
Smoking and tobacco usage
Mouth breathing
Inadequate dental treatment
Malocclusion
Unreplaced missing teeth (shifting and drifting of teeth adjacent to the spaces)

7.     “How do you treat periodontal disease?”  Periodontitis can be treated surgically or non-surgically.  We treat periodontitis  non-surgically.  However, some patients may need to be referred to a specialist as well as after their treatment if the disease is in it’s advanced stages.  Typically, a series of appointments is scheduled with a hygienist who uses special instrumentation, ultrasonics and antimicrobials to clean the bio film which contains bad bacterial deposits from the gum pockets.

How to get rid of bad breath aka Halitosis

Bad Breath is incredibly common, but is kind of embarrassing for most people to talk about. Although there are several leading causes of bad breath, some foods can actually cause some of the scariest smelling breath. That cheeseburger with the extra onions may have been very tasty, but everyone else will be frightened away the minute you open your mouth. We get asked all the time…”Whats the best mouth wash for bad breath?”. Well, here is your answer:

Big-brand dental products may mask the smell of bad breath temporarily by using short-lived flavor additives, dyes, and moisture robbing alcohol, but those ingredients do not get to the heart of the problem. One of the largest companies producing mouthwash claims to “kill the germs that cause bad breath.” You know who I am talking about…..(rhymes with “Mr. Green”).

Ironically, killing these bad breath bacteria may even be making the problem worse! You see, it is not bacteria that cause bad breath, it is the volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), the bacterial by-products that turn your breath stinky. VSCs result from dead bacteria and epithelial cells. When alcohol is used to destroy these germs or bacteria, it may be fueling the carrier of bad breath by producing even more dead bacteria.

We have treated “bad breath” or halitosis for years in our practice very successfully using a system containing Oxygene or chlorine dioxide. Oxygene safely attacks and neutralizes VSCs through an oxidation process.

In our practice we conducted something we like to call “The Onion Test.” Basically, we stuck an onion in a jar of Oxygene containing mouth rinse and one in a jar of brand-name mouth rinse. The onion was diced into 1/4-inch pieces. Then we placed half of the chopped onion in each container. Finally, we added enough of each mouth rinse to cover the onion in the containers, sealed them and let them sit overnight. Whichever managed to keep the foul-smelling onion at bay would clearly be the winner.

Just by looking, we could see the dyes from the brand-name mouth rinse soaked into the onion, staining it blue. The Oxygene containing jar onion meanwhile, was still bright white. We went to that jar, took off the top, and carefully inhaled. What we got was a surprisingly fresh, minty scent, with little to no onion smell! We then turned to the name-brand container. When we cracked the lid on the blue jar, we jumped back. A stench of onions, alcohol and mint fumes all invaded our nasal passages, all fighting for supremacy. After screwing the lid back down, we went back to the Oxygene containing jar just to clear our noses.

Although this was not really a “scientific” test or study, it definitely proved to us that alcohol containing products are no where near as effective at neutralizing odor as Oxygene containing products. There are several products that contain chlorine dioxide on the market, but rarely if ever have I seen them sold over the counter in supermarkets or pharmacies.

Most of these bad breath killing products are sold either directly to or through dental offices. And, often times using a “system” of products can work far better than using just a mouth rinse. The best place to start on your journey to better breath is to talk to Dr. Joe or myself or one of our highly qualified halitosis busting staff members. They can help you identify what might be causing your breath mishap and put together a plan that gets you a sparkly fresh mouth.

Can you name the bad breath busting product line we carry in our office?

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