Keeping it Fresh: Fighting Bad Breath


Bad breath is insidious: it can harm your romantic life and your work life, it can signal problems with your health, and you might not even know you have it. You might not detect that your own breath is bad, as there are so many things that can cause bad breath. It’s tricky to ensure that your breath is fresh at all times.

Since our breath passes into the world through our nose and mouth, it’s not surprising that dentists play a large role in preventing or fixing some of the major sources of bad breath.

Causes and Treatments of Bad Breath

Numerous causes exist for bad breath, and they range from the internal (in our blood) to the external (right in our mouths). Causes can be mixed, and yet many of them relate to what happens directly inside our mouths: the food that is there, the cleanliness we keep, the health of our teeth and gums, and the supply of our saliva.

The table below lists many of the common causes of bad breath, and identifies ones in which a dentist can play a key role in resolving problems.


ARESTIN® and Peridontal Disease

In our office we have begun using a very effective treatment for peridontal disease (also known as gum disease), one of the primary causes of bad breath as well as of poor dental health in general.

Periodontal disease causes gums to become inflamed, and is in turn caused by infection by a certain variety of bacteria that forms in peridontal pockets between the gums and teeth.

The treatment involves first scaling the teeth to remove built up plaque. Then a local antibiotic treatment (minocycline hydrochloride) is applied to help kill bacteria to the depth of the pockets in which the bacteria grows.

The antibiotic—ARESTIN®—is a powder containing capsules of different sizes which dissolve in the peridontal pocket over time, according to their size. Research shows that ARESTIN® stays in a pocket up to 14 days, which significantly reduces the bacteria in the infected pocket. In effect, ARESTIN® is a time-release method of administering local antibiotic directly to the site of gum inflammation.


Because the antibiotic is directly applied, the amount of antibiotic used is very small. Typically when a doctor prescribes antibiotics intraorally, the dose contains 250–500mg of antibiotic, but when ARESTIN® is placed in the pocket the doseage is only 1 mg.

Gum disease and bad breath are most often treatable and sometimes even reversible. Having regular professional cleanings with innovative techniques and exact medication can fight odor and disease.

If you want treatment for peridontal disease, or a dentist’s assistance fighting bad breath contact the Sherway Gardens Dental Centre.

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