Throughout history, people have always tried to take care of their teeth and fight bad breath. Bad breath is unpleasant odors in the air you exhale.
Ancient Romans invented mouthwash. The secret ingredient was ammonia (from urine) for its bleaching and cleaning properties. Alcohol later replaced ammonia as the main active ingredient. Odol was the first antiseptic mouthwash developed in Germany in 1893.
Listerine was introduced in 1879 as a surgical instrument germicide and an antiseptic cleaner for floors. The inventor, Joseph Lawrence, named it after Joseph Lister, the physician who pioneered antiseptic surgery. In 1895, Listerine was marketed to dentists to kill germs in the mouth. By 1914, Listerine was marketed and sold over the counter to the public as a mouthwash to eliminate bad breath. The slogan “Kills germs that cause bad breath” made Lambert Pharmacal a fortune. It was only the beginning of marketing products to stop bad breath (halitosis).
Q: My wife complains that my breath stinks. I brush my teeth, use breath mints and gargle with mouthwashes, but she says it comes right back. What else can I do?
A: It is normal for this to occur occasionally from the intake from certain odiferous foods, such as onions or garlic, or “morning breath” caused by mouth changes while you sleep.
The underlying cause of your halitosis needs to be found before treatment can begin. The most common causes are poor dental hygiene, infections in the mouth, Dry Mouth Syndrome (xerostomia), external causes (foods, smoking, etc.) and medical disorders (infections of the respiratory tract or illness in other parts of the body).
Q: Where do I go for a diagnosis?
A: See a dentist. He or she will check your medical history and current medications for possible causation. Review your diet, personal habits and symptoms. Your dentist will examine the teeth, gums, mouth and salivary glands. Check swollen glands and swellings of the head and neck. Evaluate your breath when you exhale from your mouth and nose.
One of the warning signs of periodontal (gum) disease is persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth. Regular visits to your dentist allow for the detection of the problems from gum disease, tooth decay and infections, denture concerns and dry mouth.
No matter what the cause of your bad breath, good oral hygiene is part of the cure.
Brush at least twice a day, clean between teeth with floss or interproximal brushes, brush your tongue, take your dentures out at night and clean thoroughly before re-inserting them.
If the dental examination determines the mouth is healthy and the cause is not of oral origin, a referral would be made to your family physician for further diagnosis and treatment. Respiratory infections can be a cause. Other contributors can be systemic disease, such as diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, kidney failure or lung or liver disease. Laboratory tests would be needed for a definitive diagnosis. The most common cause of halitosis is bacteria in the mouth.
Q: What can a dentist do to treat bad breath?
A: Gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth and mouth infections need to be eliminated and good oral health established to fight offensive breath.
A professional periodontal cleaning is needed to remove the plaque and bacteria that have accumulated on and around the teeth and in gum pockets. Dentures need to be adjusted, cleaned and relined or remade to ensure proper fit. Tooth decay and broken fillings need to be removed and the teeth restored. Infected and abscessed teeth need to treated or extracted. More extensive gum treatments, such as traditional or Laser Periodontal Surgery (LANAP) treat periodontal disease.
As a part of treatment, the dentist can recommend one of the many antiseptic mouth rinses that do more than just mask breath odor; the mouth rinses do kill germs that cause bad breath.
Once the cause of bad breath is discovered, follow your dentist’s and physician’s plan, and fresher-smelling breath will be the outcome.
– See more at: http://www.severnaparkvoice.com/health-fitness/tech-talk-dr-cranska-54#sthash.TmGIgexO.dpuf