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Mouthwash- Does it fight Bad Breath?

mouthwash and bad breath

Mouthwash fights bad breath

Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath is widespread around the world: Up to half of people in the U.S. say they have bad breath, 50-60% of people in France complain of it, and 24% of Japanese say it’s a problem.

 Bad breath is caused by bacteria and traces of food that collect in the back of and creases of the tongue. These particles and bacteria then break down into ‘volatile sulphur compounds’, which are responsible for the smell.

Researchers led by Zbys Fedorowicz from the Bahrain Ministry of Health conducted a review of studies into how to beat bad breath (halitosis) — and gave high marks to mouthwashes. They reviewed results from five studies with participants who were randomly given mouthwashes or placebo; 293 people in Thailand, the U.S, the Netherlands, Spain, and Israel took part.

 The participants in the data review were adults over 18 years old who did not have any serious chronic gum or mouth diseases or other conditions such as diabetes, which can bring on bad breath. The studies were two, four, or six weeks long. What researchers found when they compared data is that the type of mouthwash can make a difference in either masking or eliminating bad breath.

 “We found that antibacterial mouth rinses, as well as those containing chemicals that neutralize odors, are actually very good at controlling bad breath.”  They also found that mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine can temporarily stain the teeth and tongue and reduce taste in one trial.

 Mouthwash containing antibacterial ingredients such as chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium did the job of getting rid of bad breath better than a placebo.

This is likely due to decreasing the amount of bacteria in the mouth responsible for bad breath.

Mouthwash with chlorine dioxide and zinc helped to wipe out bad smells by neutralizing them.

 Dr Madan’s Final Comment: It is advisable to use mouthwash at least once a day, along with brushing and flossing.
A simple easy to remember rule I advise my patients is: if you consume any liquid, clean with liquid (mouthwash) &
if you consume any solid food, use solid (toothbrush).

 (c) Dr Madan 2011           All rights are reserved.
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