Bad Breath? Try a Tongue Scraper

Bad breath can have a devastating impact on a person’s personal, social and professional life.

In North America alone, consumers spend 2-3 billion dollars each year on mints, gums, and mouth rinses to try to make their breath “minty fresh.”

Bad breath (officially “halitosis”) can originate from a number of causes; but oral bacteria are the most common source. About 600 types of bacteria grow in the average person’s mouth.  If bacteria act on materials that have been trapped in your mouth, many of them produce unpleasant odors.

Most often, bad breath starts on the back of the tongue, the largest place in the mouth for a build-up of bacteria. In this area bacteria can flourish on dead skin cells, remnants of food, and post-nasal drip.  As these bacteria grow and multiply they produce volatile sulfur compounds. These chemicals smell a lot like of rotten eggs – definitely not the hallmark of “fresh breath”!

In addition to bacteria on the tongue, halitosis may come from gum disease, tooth decay, or other dental problems. If you have chronic bad breath, it is imperative to have an oral care assessment, and to treat any such problems that are found. Treating bacteria on the tongue without treating underlying periodontal disease will only temporarily cure bad breath.

Take control of tongue bacteria by brushing or scraping your tongue, with possible addition of antiseptic mouth rinses. People who have bad breath have more coating on their tongues than those who don’t, and regularly cleaning the surface of the tongue has been demonstrated to reduce bad breath.

Tongue Scrapers have been designed specifically for the purpose of scraping or brushing the surface of the tongue. Using a toothbrush is not as effective as a tongue scraper.  A toothbrush is designed to clean the hard tooth surface, rather than the spongy surface of the tongue. To keep your breath fresh, you must regularly remove the coating from your tongue. Pick yourself up a tongue scraper or brush and use it every day – it will help keep your breath fresh, and you’ll probably find it will improve your sense of taste.

To learn more about Tongue Scrapers or Halitosis just ask one of our professional team members at your next visit to Arbutus North Dental in Vancouver.  We’ll gladly help you to maximize your oral health and avoid the embarrassment of chronically bad breath.