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Int Dent J. 2002 Jun;52 Suppl 3:192-6.

Tongue brushing and mouth rinsing as basic treatment measures for halitosis.

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Department of Oral Biological and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Tongue brushing and mouth rinsing are basic treatment measures for halitosis, and as such are categorised as treatment needs (TN)-1. Although TN-1 is used for treatment of physiologic halitosis treatment, pseudo-, extra oral pathologic or halitophobic patients must also be managed with TN-1 as well as other treatments. Since the origin of physiological halitosis is mainly the dorso-posterior region of the tongue, tongue cleaning is more effective than mouth rinsing. However, practitioners should always instruct their patients on how to brush their tongues to prevent harmful effects. Another approach using a chlorhexidine mouthwash is most effective in reducing oral malodour. However, chlorhexidine should not be used routinely; therefore, zinc-containing mouthwashes have been recommended for use. People can also use chewing gum to reduce oral malodour. Surprisingly, however, it has been noted that sugarless chewing gum increased methyl mercaptan, one of the principal components of oral malodour. Mint did not reduce the concentration of methyl mercaptan either, although these products are widely used for their ability to mask oral malodour. There is a need for the development of a novel food or chewing gum that could considerably reduce VSC levels in mouth air to complement TN-1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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