27 August 2007

Bad Breath and the Tongue

In the US where all scientific inquiry is possible, scientists meet to discuss methods to stop bad breath:
"It's taboo," said Patricia Lenton, a clinical researcher at the University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry. "You are typecast as the smelly person."

Lenton was one of nearly 200 scientists who attended the International Conference on Breath Odor Research this week in Chicago. Attendees ranged from dentists, chemists and microbiologists to psychologists and even flavor researchers.

"In dental research, bad breath is neglected because it is not a disease that will kill people," she said in an interview. "But it's a huge problem. Everybody suffers from bad breath at one point in their lifetime."

For most, bad breath occurs when bacteria in the mouth breaks down proteins, producing volatile sulfur compounds that make for foul-smelling breath.

Dry mouth, tooth decay, certain prescription drugs, sinus problems, even diseases like diabetes can cause bad breath.

Most bad breath originates in the mouth, and about 90 percent of the smell comes from the tongue, Lenton said.

"It's warm. It's moist. It's like a large incubator of bacteria," she said.

[Reuters, 25 Aug 2007]

If 90 percent of the bad odor originates from the tongue, maybe everyone should make it a habit to clean their tongues also while brushing their teeth.

I wonder what my friend dentist would say about this. What's the Philippine picture? How many clean their tongue with brushing? I still think its not a popular practice for most. 'Same with regular dental flossing. Not too many people spend time caring for their teeth and tongues.

2 reactions:

blogborygmi said...

Hello Dr. Emer!

Sorry for this message, but I haven't heard from you lately. Did you get my last email?


Dr. Emer said...

I got it, Nick! I also replied already. Apologies for the delay. I just got home.