Therapy eliminates chronic bad breath

Brushing teeth twice a day with antibacterial toothpaste and a toothbrush with a built-in tongue cleaner helps eliminate chronic bad breath.

This was indicated by a study presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Association for Dental Research in Dallas, Texas. Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, usually occurs by the breakdown of bacteria in the mouth, producing substances with a strong sulfur smell.

It is estimated that 25% of adults suffer the embarrassment that causes bad breath and the percentage would reach 50% among older adults. In a study that lasted 28 days and was conducted on 14 adults with halitosis, a team led by Peter Moses, a student at the School of Dentistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo, found that brushing twice daily with a paste containing triclosan and clean the surface of the tongue would solve the problem.

Triclosan is an antibacterial drug is used to treat acne, hand soaps, detergents and deodorants. “Most toothpastes do not contain triclosan,” said Dr. Joseph J. Zambon, who participated in the study. Triclosan is found in the pulp Colgate Total, which makes Colgate-Palmolive Co., which funded the study.

At the beginning and end of the study, the researchers measured levels of air in the mouth with the odor-causing bacteria and analyzed samples of tongue scraping for 20 species of bacteria that cause bad breath. According to the authors, brushing teeth twice a day with toothpaste containing triclosan and scraping the tongue with a cleaner reduced levels of bacteria that cause bad breath of about 400 parts per billion at baseline to about 100 parts to 28 days.

All participants solved the halitosis after using the paste containing triclosan and a tongue cleaner, Moses said in a statement from the university. “The fear of halitosis, known Halitophobia, sometimes is so great that up to 25% of people who say they do not have bad breath,” said the expert, adding: “The Halitophobia is related to obsessive-compulsive disorder and even caused suicides, so that effective therapies are needed for this problem.”