Halitosis (Chronic Bad Breath)

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Halitosis is most often caused by the breakdown of food particles by bacteria that inhabit our mouths. These bacteria are often found under plaque, in the spaces between teeth and gums, and in the deeper crevices on your tongue. As the bacteria feed on food debris, they produce a byproduct called volatile sulfur compounds (VSC), which includes gases such as hydrogen sulfide -- which smells like rotten eggs!

Bad breath is also associated with periodontal disease (gum disease). Pockets are formed in the gums around teeth, and these begin to widen and break down adjacent gum tissue. The deeper pockets get, the more they capture food, and provide even more places for bacteria to hide. This becomes a vicious cycle as the bacteria grow in ever-increasing pockets, which then produce more and more VSC.

The good news is that VSC can be neutralized. Dentists and other health professionals use gas measurement devices called halimeters to determine the quantities of these gases, and to determine where they are coming from. With a combination of professional dental help and special hygiene routines, most cases of halitosis can be successfully treated.

If you're considering halitosis treatment, the following information will provide you with a good introduction to the procedure. For more detailed information about how this procedure may help you, we recommend that you consult a dentist or hygienist with experience in treating halitosis.


*Most people who suffer from bad breath will spend between $200 and $1,000 on so-called solutions to the problem every day!

*Bad Breath also be persistent (Chronic bad breath), which is a more serious condition, affecting some 25 % of the population in varying degrees.

*Halitosis estimated to be the third most frequent reason for seeking dental aid, following tooth decay and periodontal disease.









  1. What are some of the most common benefits of this treatment?
  2. How are the treatments performed?
  3. How long do the treatments take, and is there any pain?
  4. Where will the treatments be performed?
  5. Ideal candidate:
  6. Other important information:
  7. Risks and Limitations:


What are some of the most common benefits of halitosis treatment?

Halitosis can put a strain on a person's social and professional life. Bad breath can spur feelings of inadequacy in all types of social situations. Treating bad breath can restore self-confidence and allow the focus to return to what you are saying instead of how your breath smells.

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How are the treatments performed?

Your dentist will tailor the procedure to fit your specific case, but the following information will help you understand some of the issues related to halitosis:

  • It is very important that you thoroughly brush and floss your teeth regularly. This helps to remove the food and dead tissue that bacteria feed on.
  • The bacteria associated with halitosis do not survive in oxygen. Plaque and periodontal pockets shield the bacteria from the oxygen circulating through your mouth. Brushing and flossing remove this plaque, exposing the bacteria to oxygen that will kill it.
  • If you have gum disease, bad breath can result. In this case, your dentist may prescribe a special irrigator used to flush out the pockets in your gums. Your dentist or hygienist will teach you how to use the device for best results.
  • Bad breath can also be caused by a sticky plaque and food buildup on the back of the tongue and may appear white. This is the most noticable when your ill. If this is causing your problem, your dentist may suggest that you use a special tongue-scraping device for cleaning your tongue. You can obtain this device from you dentist or hygienist.
  • Chewing gum and breath mints can also help eliminate breath odor, but not in the way you might expect, by masking it. Gum and mints increase saliva flow, helping to wash away bacteria. That's why you wake up with "morning breath." When saliva flow decreases during sleep, bacteria grow more rapidly. However, use mints sparingly because an excessive amount of either could promote tooth decay, and chewing gum isn't always good for your joints.
  • If you have a very dry mouth, your dentist may prescribe artificial saliva. Drinking more fluids helps as well.

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How long do the treatments take, and is there any pain?

A good oral hygiene routine doesn't take much time. Depending on the source of your problem, you may need to use artificial saliva, frequently scrape your tongue, irrigate your gums, or simply brush and floss more often. Most people report their treatments are easy and comfortable. Afterward, you can look forward to the confidence that comes from knowing you have cleaner, fresher-smelling breath.

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Where will the treatments be performed?

After determining the source of your problem, the necessary procedures will first be demonstrated in your dentist's office so that you can carry them out at home. In more severe cases, you may need to be referred to a specialist.

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Ideal candidate:

In general, the best candidates for halitosis treatments are people who are:

  • seeking help for their halitosis problems.
  • willing to do their part daily in order to improve their breath.
  • realistic in their expectations. The above is only a partial list of the criteria that your dentist or hygienist may consider in determining whether or not this procedure is appropriate for you. Be sure to ask your dentist or hygienist if he / she considers you an ideal candidate for this procedure.

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Other important information:

Contrary to popular opinion, mouthwash is not a good solution to bad breath. Mouthwashes can temporarily mask the odor, but most mouthwashes have high alcohol content. The alcohol dries out oral tissue – making bad breath even worse!

Many halitosis solutions involve reducing bacteria. It is important to understand that while too much bacteria can lead to foul odor, you do not want to completely eliminate all bacteria. A small amount of bacteria helps control the levels of harmful microorganisms such as the yeast-like organism, Candida.

Keep in mind that bad breath can also signal a medical disorder such as a respiratory tract infection, sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, and liver disease or kidney ailment. If your breath does not improve with dental treatment, or if you have other symptoms, it is important that you see a qualified doctor without delay.

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Risks and Limitations:

The real risk is not developing a good oral hygiene routine. Failure to do so could lead to the decay of your teeth and gums causing mobility or tooth lose, as well as worsening halitosis.

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The information on this web site is only intended as an introduction to this procedure and should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor as a guarantee of the result. The best method of determining your options is to consult qualified surgeons who are able to answer specific questions related to your situation.

*Disclaimer: Source:,, Most surgeons offer convenient payments plans for this procedure. Cost does not include anesthesia, operating room facility, hospital stay, and other related expenses. Costs may also vary depending on location.

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