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Research on Halitosis (Bad Breath), Breath Odor

Posted Aug 26 2008 5:03pm

Recently Dr. Gibbs and some of the staff attended a meeting concerning new research in halitosis. Among some of the findings:

  • Over 90 % of halitosis originates from oral origins. Digestive, medical diseases, and food cause less than 10% of all halitosis. Food and tobacco are contributory, but do not cause chronic halitosis.
  • The most common cause of halitosis is the release of aromatic sulfur compounds from bacteria digesting protein, and exfoliating epithelial cells. Most of the problem causing bacteria are found either in deep periodontal pockets (found in gum disease), or on the far back portion of the tongue.
  • Reduced saliva flow during sleep, cancer therapy, or taking certain medications are another common causes.
  • The sulfur compounds most responsible for halitosis, and the bacteria releasing the compounds, can be significantly reduced by the use of a chlorine dioxide mouthwash. Chlorine dioxide is an EPA approved chemical used commonly in water purification. It not only directly reduces levels of causative bacteria (reducing gum disease), but also destroys the offensive sulfur compounds.
  • The most effective source of chlorine dioxide is the mouth rinse made by Ropar’s Retardant, which is not commercially available. We can directly order this for interested patients. Most mouth rinses only temporary cover up odor, and may make the mouth drier which contributes to later halitosis.
  • Halitosis is especially prevalent in patients with gum disease. Bacteria will release the aromatic sulfur compounds as the cells in the periodontal pocket break down. Periodic hygiene appointments, and monitoring of the periodontal status, are very important in individuals susceptible to halitosis.
  • Many cases also require the use of a tongue scrapper to clean the top portion of the tongue. Most of the offending bacteria on the tongue are in the furthest back portion.
  • Other oral causes are wearing full or partial dentures, faulty fillings, drifting or extruded teeth, abscesses, thrush, or cancer.

See our website and photo Gallery at for more information!

Dr. Gibbs serves the communities of Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Lombard, Carol Stream, Naperville, and Lisle, Addison, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Glendale Heights, Elmhurst, Roselle, Bartlett, West Chicago, Woodridge, Bloomingdale, Schaumberg, Wood Dale, Geneva, St. Charles, Warrenville, Bolingbrook, Westmont, Winfield, Villa Park, and the Chicago area. See the website at for more information on dentistry and your health!

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