The Specialist

Treating the embarrassing problem of bad breath

In planning treatment of bad breath, we have to first be certain that your gums are healthy and there are no periodontal pockets or cavities harboring odor-causing bacteria. This is done by measuring your pocket depths with a periodontal probe and examining your digital x-rays.

Tongue scraping with a specially designed device called a tongue scraper is a simple and cost-effective procedure to combat bad breath. This is because the top and back of your tongue is like a shaggy carpet. It houses millions of germs below the surface and saliva where the environment has little or no oxygen. This means the type of bacteria that live there are anaerobic, which means they don’t need oxygen to survive. These bugs are the worst kind. They cause bone loss in pockets, fecal odors, decaying flesh odors and rotten eggs odor, hence socially offensive to another person.

The game changer in bad breath treatment is the discovery of chlorine dioxide mouth rinse. This solution was founded in 1992 by a periodontist named Dr. Jon L. Richter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before then, three percent hydrogen peroxide or baking soda were the most helpful remedies. Richter received a patent for his work to provide low levels of chlorine dioxide thereby allowing those afflicted with bad breath to receive predictable treatment. Chlorine dioxide products exist today in the form of some mouth rinses. These mouth rinses are safe and do not require a prescription to use them.

Why chlorine dioxide mouth rinse works so well

• It kills the odor-causing bacteria.

• It destroys the volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) before they reach the air in your mouth and are then expelled.

• It reduces the proteins that allow odor-causing bacteria to ferment (turn into acids).

• It also effectively limits the free-flowing plaque within the mouth that reduces dental plaque that harbor on teeth and around the gums.

• It is safe and available at your local dental specialist and family practice.

Helpful home tips to prevent bad breath

• Brush your teeth after you eat. Be sure to brush your teeth before bedtime – meaning, it’s the last thing you do before bedtime.

• Floss at least once a day. This is a good practice because the floss gets between your teeth where your brush cannot access.

• Scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper.

• Clean your dentures or dental appliances. Do not sleep with these devices.

• Avoid dry mouth. Dry mouth is frequently associated with bad breath because of the ease of bacterial buildup due to lack of moisture.

• Maintain a diet rich in fresh vegetables, low fat and sugar, and high protein.

• Schedule regular dental checkups.

Managing bad breath comes from a regular and disciplined approach to your oral health. You cannot be healthy unless your mouth is healthy. Take a few minutes daily to brush, floss and scrape your tongue. This effort goes a long way toward your total overall health and wellness.

• Dr. Kendal V.O. Major is the founder and CEO of the Center for Specialized Dentistry, which is a comprehensive family dental practice operating in New Providence and Grand Bahama. He is the first Bahamian specialist in gum diseases and dental implants since 1989. He is also a certified fast braces provider. His practice is located at 89 Collins Avenue, New Providence. He can be contacted at (242) 325-5165 or For further information visit

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button