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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Bad Breath Response to Tongue Scraper and Rinses

  • Author(s): Ellis, Ryan
  • Advisor(s): Ryder, Mark
  • et al.

Halitosis (or bad breath) is a widely experienced problem plaguing many patients. It affects individuals of all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite this, the prevalence and management of halitosis isn't well defined. The purpose of the trial was to compare the effectiveness of two oral rinses (0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate and 0.1% chlorine dioxide) in conjunction with a tongue scraper for the treatment of halitosis in a randomized double-blind study. Twenty two subjects were randomized into one of the two rinse groups (nineteen subjects competed the entire trial). The effectiveness of each rinse was evaluated for the reduction in organoleptic scores via calibrated judges and for the decrease in volatile sulfur compounds (hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and dimethyl sulfide) measured by the OralChroma portable gas chromatography device. Both rinses demonstrated statistically significant reductions in organoleptic measures relative to baseline at all time points. VSC (H2S, MM, DMS) measures were generally reduced below baseline, but were not significant for all time points (1 hr, 2 hr, 4 hr, 1 week). The exception was methyl mercaptan (chlorhexidine gluconate rinse group), which was significantly less than baseline vs. 4 hr. MM (p=.024 ppb, p=.011 ng) and baseline vs. 1 week MM (p=.009 ppb, p=.004 ng). Both the chlorine dioxide and chlorhexidine groups demonstrated a decrease in malodor production following treatment.

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