If you're one of the 90 million people who struggle with chronic
bad breath, you're probably pretty frustrated by your own attempts
to cover up the problem. Unfortunately, genuine halitosis won't
go away by chewing gum, eating mints, or swishing with mouthwash!
And it's not a private problem that you can keep to yourself—it
typically affects your relationships, your outlook, and your dental
health as well. What causes this stubborn condition? To begin with,
few people have really effective oral hygiene habits, meaning that
they constantly have some amount of decaying food particles and
bacteria in their mouth. Or, they may have other oral debris as
a result of smoking, chewing tobacco, or drinking alcohol. In any
case, such decay and debris produce sulfur compounds just like the
kind found in rotten eggs, and the result is foul-smelling breath.
Some other causes for bad breath are less common, such as a systemic
(general health) problems. Internal infections, gum disease, diabetes,
kidney failure, or liver malfunction can cause bad breath; radiation
treatment for cancer may produce a dry mouth and halitosis, as well.
And several simple, non-medical conditions can occasionally have
a temporarily negative effect on your breath: stress, dieting, snoring,
advancing age, and hormonal changes.
As you might guess, the first step in controlling bad breath is
to practice good oral hygiene: twice daily brushing, daily flossing,
and tongue cleaning. Tongue cleaning involves using a plastic tool
called a tongue scraper or tongue de-plaquer, that clears away bacterial
build-up and significantly alleviates odor. Your good hygiene must
include regular dental check-ups, since professional cleanings do
a much more thorough job of eliminating bacteria and plaque build-up.
Further, if you have dentures or a removable retainer or mouth-guard,
you must also practice excellent hygiene each time you remove the
appliance, cleaning it thoroughly and according to proper instructions.
Finally, even the most meticulous hygiene is sometimes insufficient
for eliminating the problem. And that's why we recommend the Breath
Rx System. Simply mention your concerns to Dr. Hampton or your hygienist,
and we'll explain how the system works. If it sounds like the right
choice for you, you can conveniently purchase it from us at your
visit. Most people notice an improvement right away with this program!
Of course, if we suspect a systemic or internal problem such as
an infection or underlying condition, we may also recommend a visit
with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.
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