Self Treatment and Clinical Information on Bad Breath

You can do a lot of sleuthing yourself to find out where the problem is and what is directly affecting the status of your breath. Just remember, without actually having a professional assessment, you cannot always find what could be happening in the mouth, nose and throat to give you that bad breath feeling.

First of all, do the common sense things like flossing & brushing your teeth and gently scraping your tongue morning and evening. Flossing once a day is necessary but twice is even better. When you floss, curve the floss around the sides of the tooth and work your way down gently into the space between the gums and the tooth. Don't just floss the front teeth. The molars are wide and give the bacteria lots of room to hide. Brushing should take at least two minutes to completely scrub clean every tooth surface. The bacteria that stick to your teeth and form dental plaque might be tiny but they are tough [read my article on biofilm!] - a few gentle swipes will only tickle them. I recommend a rotary or sonic toothbrush for best results.

Make sure you have good dental care. And remember to have your medical examination once a year to make certain that everything is working well in your body.

Now look at your diet. Are you eating well following the rules laid out in the Food Guide or the Food Pyramid? Do you have a regular eating pattern? What that means is you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and do not skip meals.

What is your stress level? Can you identify what makes your stress level high (other than the breath problem, although that can certainly be a high stressor)?

If everything checks out positively but you still have a problem, it may be an imbalance of mouth bacteria and/or fungus. If the bacterial population is substantial and the types of bacteria are out of balance, then you will have bad breath.

There are many rinses on the market that have antimicrobial properties. Over the counter rinses such as you find in your pharmacy/drug store can help sometimes. The chlorine dioxide rinses are also useful and can reduce bacteria for several hours for some people. More powerful antimocrobial rinses are available at the Fresh Breath Clinic online. These rinses can be very effective if you have a minor imbalance in your microbial population. Also please note that not every rinse works for everyone, as microbial imbalances are different in every mouth.

If your mouth is very dry, you can try Biotene or similar products available from the local pharmacy (also see dry mouth tips in Breath Tips).

Rinses are very effective against free floating bacteria. Unfortunately, most bacteria live in a biofilm [eg., dental plaque]. Biofilms are difficult to penetrate and most rinses cannot flow through the matrix surrounding the bacteria. When you rinse, you remove the free floating bacteria and a few of those that are attached but the rest just grow a little faster to compensate for the loss. Consequently, the effect of the rinse lasts only a few hours.

The chemicals in the rinses affect the bacteria in different ways. Since there are many types of bacteria in the mouth, some types may be killed by the chemicals in the rinse and others will not be affected. Depending on the types of bacteria present in the biofilm, the rinse may or may not have an effect.

As part of the Oravital® treatment, once we have performed a full assessment, we select one of the antibiotic rinses we have developed for this purpose and ask our client to use this rinse for a couple of weeks. This type of rinse very effectively lowers the number of bacteria in the mouth.  Once that is accomplished, we select the type of maintenance rinses that would be most advantageous to use, as determined by the microbiological assessment. After a few weeks we check the breath once again to make certain that the rinses are working well and controlling the numbers of bacteria present in the biofilm.

If you have a slight problem, you can order your preferred rinse products and they will work well. However, if the mouth odour is significant and the bad taste is quite strong, an assessment and treatment appointment at an Oravital® Certified Clinic is the best choice.


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