Fresh Breath Clinic

janiekarenhalimeterYou no longer need to suffer in silence rather than admit to what is essentially a medical condition. At last help is at hand for those who suffer with bad breath (Halitosis) – one of the last social taboos of the 21st Century.

The following is an excerpt from the Dental Tribune dated March 30 – Apr 5. 2009 (Vol. 3 No. 8)

Poor dental hygiene is putting a dampener on romance, according to Dentyl pH, the mouthwash experts. Their Kiss and Tell study, found that more than a third of respondents said they would avoid someone of the opposite sex with bad breath, while over a quarter would think such a person was generally unclean or unhygienic and one in 10 thought bad breath might be a sign of illness.

More than a quarter had avoided a potential partner because of that person’s bad breath and nearly three quarters said they wouldn’t let a person with bad breath kiss them. While nearly a third had backed away from a snog in the past for that reason.

The Kiss and Tell study also showed that poor health hygiene caused bad breath and bad teeth in millions of adults in the UK and triggered killer diseases such as stroke, heart disease and birth defects.

With the aid of a new piece of equipment from America, we can measure your breath and then proceed to find the cause of any Halitosis.

How to tell if you have a problem with bad breath

Bad breath is almost impossible to self detect and is not something people would normally tell you, but there are a couple of self checks you can try.

  • Lick your tongue along your wrist and leave to dry for 30 seconds, then smell it.
  • Using unwaxed floss, pass the floss through the upper and lower back teeth. Wait 30 seconds and smell the floss.

If there is a smell from either of these tests, it may be worth getting checked out by a dental professional or visiting our Fresh Breath Clinic.

Causes of Halitosis

Contrary to popular belief, Halitosis is rarely influenced by stomach problems and is infrequently related to a medical problem, the simple fact is that the overwhelming cause of bad breath is due to what is happening in the mouth.

In 90% of cases, the primary cause of bad breath is a result of Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSC’s) and these compounds are the by-products of plaque bacteria living in the mouth – they are highly toxic to tissues in the mouth and may contribute to gum disease.

Other possible causes of Halitosis are:

  • Smoking – all smoking reduces saliva flow which causes dry mouth and then Halitosis.
  • Diet – low carbohydrate diets, a low tolerance to dairy products, a high consumption of acidic foods, a high intake of alcohol or coffee can all cause dry mouth and lead to Halitosis.
  • Age – older people and young children are more prone to Halitosis.
  • Medication – many tablets can cause a dry mouth which leads to Halitosis.
  • Dental decay – cavities in the mouth can harbour bacteria and lead to Halitosis.

Treatment at our Fresh Breath Clinic

Assessment at our Fresh Breath Clinic involves seeing our award winning Dental Hygienist Karen Hails, dental hygienist of the year in 2009, who initially will review your medical history, check for caries (dental decay), defective margins or overhangs on fillings and if required refer you to one of our dentists to take any necessary radiographs.

Karen will use our newest piece of equipment, the Halimeter, to check for Volatile Sulphur Compounds. Karen will also do plaque scores and bleeding charts and pocket charts, if required, and provide intense oral hygiene instruction. You will be given one of our Fresh Breath Kits to help you along the way.

A review appointment with Karen will be organised a minimum of two weeks later and another Halimeter reading will be taken to assess any improvement which has been made.

Should you require any further dental treatment, you will be advised of this at your initial visit and you can opt either to have this done at your own practice or pay the appropriate fee for Karen to carry out the treatment at our practice.

Prior to your assessment at the Fresh Breath Clinic, please take note of the following:

  • Do not brush, floss or use mouthwash for 12 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Do not have any food or drink, except water, for 5 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Do not use tobacco or alcohol products for 12 hours prior to your appointmen
  • Do not eat onions, garlic or cabbage for 48 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Do not take antibiotics for 3 weeks prior to your appointment.
  • Do not wear aftershave or perfume at your appointment.

How to prevent Halitosis

The most recommended treatment for bad breath is a proper dental hygiene programme. A dentist or hygienist can recommend ways to keep your mouth clean and how to eliminate the Volatile Sulphur Compounds. In 95% of cases, improving dental health and eliminating the Volatile Sulphur Compounds will eliminate bad breath.