As a dentist I see many folks who still have an unpleasant breath odor even though their teeth and gums are healthy. In these cases the culprit is usually a bacteria which, although nonpathologic, produce a volatile sulfur compound (VSE). Normal brushing and flossing, even tongue brushing, just isn't enough to control this bacteria. They need something more.
If even over the-counter-agents such as Listerine® fail, you may need antimicrobial rinses and toothpastes. Your dentist can help. There are three main antimicrobial agents in use today: chlorhexidine gulconate, chlorine dioxide and herbal preparations. I have products in each of these categories available for you as well as the Rota-dent® plaque removal system. My staff and I can help you eliminate oral causes of bad breath and make appropriate medical referrals where necessary.
Chlorhexidine gulconate is obtained at your pharmacy with a prescription. It is very effective but has two drawbacks:
1) Chlorhexidine can cause staining of teeth and dental work. The staining is temporary and polishes away easily but is enough of an aggravation that most folks will discontinue use.
2) Chlorhexidine rinses (as well as most over-the-counter rinses) contain a lot of ethyl alcohol. Current research indicates that chronic exposure of the mucous membranes to alcohol can be an increased risk factor for oral cancer. Also, the alcohol can dry the mucous membranes which may actually promote the growth of the odor-causing bacteria.
Chlorine dioxide is not dispensed at a pharmacy. In fact, chlorine dioxide is so safe that anyone can become a distributor. It is, however, highly effective against VSC's and the microorganisms which cause them. The taste is bland. The Oxyfresh® products seem the best over all and I have them available for my patients. Their rinses do not contain alcohol and do not stain teeth.
BreathRx® is an herbal line of products dispensed only by dentists. The taste is strong, but not unpleasant. BreathRx is a favorite of my patients and seems to be very effective at elimination of VSC's and the bacteria which cause them. BreathRx products do not contain alcohol.