Bad breath is an embarrassing condition. In most cases, people who suffer from this condition tend to avoid getting close to other people and actually most people find it to be a big turn off. Most people associate bad breath with poor oral hygiene. While this is true to some degree, there are also other factors that result in the same. Some foods like garlic and onion are known to cause bad breath after they are absorbed in to the blood stream. Indigestion may also cause some gases to escape through the mouth thus resulting in foul odor. Other causes include oral infections and smoking of tobacco.
A dry mouth is more likely to develop bad breath. Saliva is an important agent in cleaning of the mouth and its absence leads to accumulation of food particles. Dry mouth or xerostomia is a condition that decreases the secretion of saliva. It can either occur naturally or a side effect of certain drugs. Other diseases cause bad breath that does not originate from the mouth. For instance, cancer and some metabolic conditions produce chemicals that have a distinctive odor that is exhaled through the mouth and nose. Liver or kidney failure as well as diabetes also produce a foul smell. Some medications also produce certain gases when they break down in the body.
One of the effective remedies for bad breath is mouthwash. Recent studies have revealed that different types of mouthwash are effective in either masking or even totally eliminating the bad breath. Mouth washes containing antibacterial chemicals and those with odor neutralizers have been rated high in controlling bad breath. The antibacterial agents used here include cetylpyridinium and chlorhexidine.
Mouthwash manufacturers acknowledge the fact that the prime cause of bad breath is the bacteria in the mouth. Decaying food particles are often trapped in hard to reach areas such as in between teeth or in the tiny follicles of the tongue. Since the mouth is warm and moist, it easily attracts bacteria. The decomposing food along with the bacteria produces an awful smell when one is speaking or exhaling. Killing the bacteria is a good place to start hence the use of a mouthwash for bad breath.
Other chemicals like zinc and chlorine dioxide neutralizes the bad odors. There is a major difference between neutralizing odors with mint for a few minutes and a mouth rinse that will keep breath fresh all day. Advanced mouthwashes use sodium chlorite, which is also referred to as stabilized sodium dioxide. This chemical is also used in purification of drinking water. Such mouthwashes provide fresh breath for up to six hours. With most of them coming in compact packages that can be carried anywhere, they can be the answer that brings to an end the humiliation of bad breath.
Sodium chlorate alters the chemical composition of odorous gases to make them odorless. The effectiveness and duration time of each mouthwash varies according to the ingredient chemicals and their concentration. Mouthwash should never be a substitute for brushing and flossing. It should be used to complement these two dental hygiene practices. That said, it is best to use mouthwash frequently throughout the course of the day.