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Treating Bad Breath Yet A Challenge

Researchers have still not been able to arrive at conclusive evidence regarding which method is the most effective in treating bad breadth //. The choice of using mouthwashes, breath mints, chewing gums, sprays or mechanical tongue cleaning is left to convenience of an individual.

'From the results of some low-powered trials, tongue cleaning, scraping and brushing do appear to have some benefit at reducing halitosis, and the effects appear to be short lived,' said co-investigator Zbys Fedorowicz, a periodontist at the Ministry of Health in Bahrain. 'But we were unable to find any reliable evidence confirming any benefits of using tongue-scraping over mouthwash, or vice versa, at reducing halitosis.'

The review appears in the most recent issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

The review was conducted by a team from the Bahrain Branch of the UK Cochrane Center based at the Ministry of Health in Bahrain. Dr. Fedorowicz is also the director of the UK Cochrane Center in Bahrain.

Halitosis, a general term used to describe any disagreeable breath odor, usually originates from the gums and from the furrows on the surface of the tongue. Accumulated bacteria created by the decay of food particles and other debris in the mouth cause odor. The decay and debris produce volatile sulfur compounds -- or VSC -- that can cause ‘bad breath.’

'Halitosis is ubiquitous, and in the developed world is considered a very private personal yet very public issue associated with personal hygiene and body image,' said Dr. Fedorowicz. 'In parts of the developing world there is an increased awareness of dental hygiene, and attention to oral malodor is also considered an increasingly i
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