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Dentist in Bay Ridge

Causes for Halitosis

The primary cause of odor in the breath is sulfides produced by either grain negative bacteria or in the normal breakdown and renewal of your oral mucosa or tissue. A bi-product of the bacteria is methyl mercaptan or hydrogen sulfide gases which produce these volatile sulfide compounds or VSC. VSC are also formed in the normal cellular turnover in the mouth. When tissues are inflamed or infected a concentration of bacteria is found and the normal rate of tissue regeneration is greatly increased, thus increasing the amount of VSC present leading to malodor.

Research has also led us to believe that these vsc may have a harmful effect on the normal gum or periodontal membrane. VSC are believed to increase the permeability of this membrane to increased bacterial invasion leading to periodontal breakdown or periodontitis (pyorrhea). If we can control the level of vsc in the mouth we can not only remove mouth odor but we may be able to stop periodontal disease in its earliest stages.

The market has been flooded with numerous mouthwashes and aides for fighting bad breath. Unfortunately most of the best known mouthwashes contain a very high level of alcohol. Alcohol has a drying effect on oral ( mouth) tissue. Most people find their mouth odor to be worst in the morning upon waking up. This is also when the mouth is the driest because normal saliva flow is naturally diminished at night when the body rests. Initially, the high concentration of alcohol in mouthwashes helps to kill the bacterial concentrations but because of the drying effects, this is short lived. Under the new drier conditions, the mouth becomes a haven for new bacterial growth- and the odor returns stronger and worse than before.

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