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Treating Bad Breath Yet A Challenge

mportant part of personal grooming.'

Currently, there are no standard and accepted methods for treating the odor associated with halitosis. Mouthwashes, mints, gums and sprays provide a competing and temporary smell that masks the odor. Some mouth rinses have ingredients that can neutralize the odor or the bacteria that produce it.

Odor-causing bacteria can also be reduced through improving oral hygiene and by tongue cleaning, including brushing or scraping of the tongue to dislodge trapped food, cells and bacteria from the taste buds. A variety of mechanical tongue scrapers and tongue cleaners are commercially available.

Although Fedorowicz said tongue brushing scraping and cleaning 'have been in and out of vogue with no apparent clear guidance from the dental profession,' the review authors all recommend periodic use of a brush.

The investigators wanted to compare mechanical cleaning versus mouthwashes, but they were not able to find statistically valid studies. However, they did identify two eligible trials comparing different methods of tongue scraping or cleaning involving 40 adults.

Researchers in one trial reported a 42 percent reduction in volatile sulfur compounds with tongue cleaning, 40 percent with tongue scraping and 33 percent with the tooth brushing. 'Reduced VSC levels persisted longer with the tongue cleaner than the toothbrush and could not be detected for more than 30 minutes after the intervention in any of the groups,' the Cochrane review team said.

Researchers in the second trial reported a 75 percent reduction of VSC levels after use of the tongue scraper and 45 percent with the toothbrush.


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