"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.
Note: More than 100 dental experts will be available on Friday, July 15, 2005, to provide free dental advice and answer questions about oral health through the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) SmileLine, a non-profit, toll-free national dental health hotline. The 14 th annual SmileLine will take place on Dental Awareness Day in conjunction with AGD's 53 rd Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Washington, D.C. on July 13 - 17, 2005.
Consumers can call the SmileLine, toll-free at 1.800.SMILE.33 (1.800.764.5333) on Friday, July 15, 2005 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET to speak one-on-one with a dental expert regarding difficult or embarrassing oral health concerns.