I brush my teeth and floss occasionally, but I still have bad breath. Do I need some special mouthwash?
Halitosis (bad breath) can be a real problem. If we can rule out the obvious causes of diet, faulty dental restorations, and periodontal disease, the problem usually lies in bacteria that have colonized the tongue. There are prescription mouth rinses that can help. There are also treatments of topical oxygenating agents that can be useful in the most persistent cases. In most cases, however, using alcohol-based mouthwashes with a tongue scraper is all that is needed.
What causes bad breath?
Persistent bad breath that is not related to diet, or the health of dental tissues, is caused by a specific group of bacteria colonizing the tongue. These bacteria produce volatile sulfur compounds that have a very distinctive aroma. While these bacteria are part of the normal flora of the tongue, if they get out of control the result can be really bad breath. Even simple problems like post-nasal drip due to allergies can lead to bad breath. Vigorous tongue scraping along with alcohol-based mouth rinses help in most cases. If halitosis persists, you should consult with your dentist and consider some more aggressive treatments.