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.