Bacteria Cause Fresh Breath?or Halitosis

Published Online: Sunday, June 1, 2003

Did you ever wonder what makes 1 person?s breath fresh and another?s pungent? Bacteria on the tongue are to blame. Researchers recently found that some bacteria on the tongue are associated with fresh-smelling breath and others with halitosis. Using gene-sequencing techniques, researchers compared bacteria on the tongues of 6 people with halitosis and 5 people with fresh breath.

According to the American Dental Association, halitosis may be treated by reducing the bacterial load on the tongue and teeth through brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Daily tongue scraping is also recommended, either alone or in combination with the use of an antimicrobial 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate mouth rinse.

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