During the 18 years of helping patients resolve their chronic halitosis conditions we have successfully treated approximately 14,000 patients. Seeing this many patients over this period of time has allowed us to observe a lot of the common mistakes people have made during their attempts to resolve their problem. We have also been privy to a lot of the myths that have been commonly associated with halitosis. In this blog, however, we will focus on some common mistakes that we have seen people frequently make.
• Having one’s tonsils removed either because someone told them the tonsils were the cause of their breath problem, or because they believed the myths surrounding the so-called tonsil stones or tonsiloliths. During the 18 years of treating this condition we have seen probably 3,000 patients who have made the mistake of having their tonsils removed for the purpose of resolving a halitosis condition. Unfortunately for those patients the tonsillectomies did nothing to change their halitosis condition. It is an extremely painful procedure and one that nobody forgets.
• Seeking the help of a gastroenterologist is a common mistake we have seen people make. A visit to the gastroenterologist often involves an endoscopic examination of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracks, a colonoscopy, and other similar unpleasant procedures. These procedures are expensive, unpleasant, and subject the patient to a certain degree of unnecessary risk. Over the many years of treating patients for chronic halitosis we have yet to see a gastrointestinal condition result in a halitosis conditions. Any good gastroenterologist will also confer with our conclusions.
• Brushing one’s teeth frequently is another mistake people tend to make. It is an understandable mistake to make but excessively frequent tooth brushing will tend produce a dry mouth condition, which will often exacerbate a breath condition. Excessively frequent brushing can cause gum recession and damage the tooth’s enamel. The majority of patients we see in our clinic tend to be aggressive tooth brushers and this often results in damage to the teeth and gums. It is for this reason we often recommend the Sonicare toothbrush. This toothbrush is not only much more gentle than manual or other electric tooth brushes, but it’s sonic cleaning technology will assist in removing bacteria from deep within the tongue’s taste buds and from under the gums.
• Using hydrogen peroxide as an oral rinse is another common practice we have seen over the years. Most people do not realize that the FDA considers hydrogen peroxide to be a cytotoxic product. The word cytotoxic means toxic to the cells. Hydrogen peroxide is also known to be a proteolytic product which means it breaks down proteins. It is for this reason that the use of hydrogen peroxide is contraindicated for the treatment of wounds. The problem is the tissues in our body are made of protein. If used on an occasional basis in the mouth hydrogen peroxide will generally not have any negative effects to an individual. If, however, it is used on a regular basis, which many people have done, the oral tissues will become sensitive, and can become ulcerated and raw. In the end the hydrogen peroxide has never provided any benefit to resolving a halitosis problem.
• Out of desperation we often see patients trying to treat or resolve their breath problems without ever understanding what the actual causes of their problem are. This usually results in a failure to resolve the problem, frustration and despair, and a lot of wasted time and money. When trying to resolve a medical or dental condition, or even a problem with your car, it is imperative that one understands what the cause or causes of the problem are. Without this information one will not know what to treat or fix. As a result of this type of approach it is not uncommon for us to see a patient who has been unsuccessfully experimenting with different oral products and techniques over a 20 year period. Once we take the patient through the proper diagnostic process at the Center for Breath Treatment we can quickly obtain an understanding of the causes of their condition and successfully direct treatment towards those causes.
• Altering one’s diet in an attempt to resolve a chronic halitosis condition is another common mistake we see people making. Over the many years we have been treating chronic halitosis conditions we have never seen foods of any kind be a causative factor for anybody’s halitosis condition. It is not uncommon for patients to provide us with a list of foods they “know” are contributing to their halitosis condition. The only thing a food product can do is produce the odor of that food on one’s breath. To be clear, this is a food odor, not a halitosis odor. Certain foods do have the ability to produce an aftertaste that one may not care for and this may in turn confuse you into thinking the food is causing a bad breath condition. When it comes to the deciphering one’s own tastes and smells it can become quite confusing.
About the author: Dr. Anthony Dailley is a practicing dentist that specializes in halitosis treatment. He has been practicing since 1981 and graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Cell & Molecular Biology, and obtained his dental degree from the Pacific School of Dentistry. Dr. Dailley founded the Center for Breath Treatment in the San Francisco Bay Area and conducts research on curing halitosis. Dr. Dailley has also been a founder in a biotech company called NovaBay Pharmaceuticals and on their board of directors from 1997 -2014.