More than 90 million Americans can sigh comfortably because of new relief for their bad breath. Dental experts today revealed research highlighting a new treatment option that can eliminate halitosis or chronic bad breath at the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) 53rd Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
"Bad breath is no laughing matter and can actually be an indication of more serious health concerns such as infections," said general and cosmetic dentist, Louis J. Malcmacher, DDS, FAGD and AGD member.
The research showed that using low concentrations of carbamide peroxide, an odorless ingredient used to bleach and disinfect teeth, can effectively treat chronic bad breath. Patients seeking this treatment, which costs approximately $500.00, need to first visit their dentist to have customized trays or mouth guards made to fit tightly around their teeth. A low concentration of carbamide peroxide is then placed in the tray and into the patient's mouth, where it remains for an hour. After the first treatment, patients are able to repeat this process at home for an hour everyday. After approximately three treatments, the patient will notice a significant change in their breath.
Until now, dentists could only offer treatment plans that reduced, but not treat, bad breath. In the past, using various types of mouthwash and toothpaste provided a temporary solution; however, they did not stay in the mouth long enough to significantly impact bad breath.
"If you are suffering from chronic bad breath it is important to work closely with your dentist to rule out other health concerns associated with this condition and to identify the most appropriate treatment plan," said Dr. Malcmacher. "This new treatment provides dentists with an effective option to actually kill the odor causing bacteria, rather than simply mask the problem."
Bad breath originates from the gums and tongue in a majority of patients. However, odor coming from the back of the tongue may indicate post-nasal drip. Bad breath also may occur in people who have an infection, gum disease, diabetes, kidney failure, or a liver malfunction. Xerostomia (dry mouth) and tobacco also contribute to this problem. Cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy may experience dry mouth. Even stress, dieting, snoring, aging and hormonal changes can have an effect on breath.