The word “cure” associated with the concept of halitosis is being used in an abusive way. To develop this idea, it is necessary to first mention the success rate of the clinical protocol that we use at the Breath Institute: the highest to date and verified by academic institutions with a success of almost 97%.
This means that of every 100 patients who come to our office, at least 96 of them stop showing bad breath (completely) after treatment. Of the remaining 4%, some partially improve and others do not improve at all. These are very positive results since we are talking about patients who turn to the Breath Institute after having visited many other health professionals, convinced that their case has no solution and after having tried almost everything (that is, patients with hygiene optimal oral and whose causes of halitosis were not apparent). The criteria used in the study evaluating the success rate of our treatment require a triple confirmation to establish the eradication of halitosis: confirmation from family members, examiners, or “odor judges” and devices specifically designed to measure odor (gas chromatography).
“The word” cure “associated with the concept of halitosis is being used in an abusive way.”
Regarding the success rate (96.6%), in a large part of these cases, it was considered that there was a cure (according to the meaning that I attribute to “cure”, that is, the patient never again manifested bad breath or needed special care for a long period of time). The cure occurs, for example, in very severe cases of halitosis due to chronic caseous tonsillitis. After surgical removal of the infectious site (tonsil crypts), the patient does not produce tonsil stones again and therefore eliminates bad breath. However, in other cases, although there is remission of bad breath, it would be less rigorous to consider patients as “cured” (I prefer to use the term “treated”). An example is cases of halitosis due to hyposalivation (dry mouth).
Through certain therapeutics and over a period of time, a salivary function can be increased (eg, through regular intake of cholinergic drugs). However, this does not mean that, twenty years later, the patient does not need to repeat the treatment for a few more months (since recurrences – decreased salivary flow – occur in some people quite a few years after treatment). I consider the patient treated (since he never had halitosis again), however, his case will not be “closed” (he may need more treatment years later). For this reason, I say that the word cure in these cases is abusive.
Being “treated” does not mean relying on odor masking products (mint flavored/odor rinses or gum or other similar tastes/smells); which also have a short-lasting effect. This situation cannot be considered a clinical success (let alone being “cured” or “treated”). I see the current scenario that favors the abuse of the word “cure” on a commercial level unethical. In many cases, what is offered is not a cure but a lifetime dependency contract with rinses or other odor masking products (since the effect is short term and the person needs to use these products several times a day).
How to combat, eliminate, cure halitosis, or bad breath?
One of the most common questions they ask us is how to combat, eliminate, or cure halitosis. Our answer is always the same: the success rate of the Breath Institute is very high because the treatment used is directly related to the type of halitosis diagnosed (that is, to the origin of the problem ”). Our mission is to offer a solution to people who have this problem; but to do so, with the utmost scientific rigor.
The expressions “bad breath” or “halitosis” have little pathophysiological meaning (they only point to an alteration of the odor in the expired air). However, what is the disease behind this alteration? Although commercially it is very attractive to indicate “the solution for all problems”, in Medicine there is no medicine or a universal procedure that “cures all diseases”. The same happens with halitosis ( there are more than 80 causes that originate in the different parts of the body) . This being so, would it not be naive to believe that there is a general treatment for all of them?).
Unfortunately, the lack of ethics of brands that take advantage of the “fragility” of people who, due to the serious impact that halitosis generates in their lives, spend thousands of euros to acquire all the “news” that appear in some media is very common. or on the internet. Some patients explain that, although they did not believe that such an illogical and scientifically unfounded thing as a steel disc was capable of curing all halitosis, out of desperation they ended up buying it. In this context, legislation is necessary and urgent to establish limits and protect the consumer.
“The most reasonable thing to do is to trust a specialized health professional to find out the cause of the halitosis and provide us with a diagnosis.”
Returning to the question, the first step is to discover what is the cause of bad breath (in science it is known as obtaining the etiological diagnosis). If the cause is not clearly visible (for example, there is no poor hygiene, visible foci of infection in the mouth, etc.), it is advisable to go to a specialized halitosis consultation. Once the cause is found, it is simply a matter of carrying out the treatment plan in light of current Medicine (for example, proton pump inhibitors are often successful in treating gastroesophageal reflux. However, if the cause is severe hyposalivation, a suitable parasympathomimetic drug is chosen). After the etiological diagnosis (for example, halitosis due to hyposalivation), we will establish a medical diagnosis with therapeutic correspondence: we know exactly what the disease is and we can propose the appropriate treatment. It is absolutely true,
Unfortunately, the lack of hope blinds people (also those who are very intelligent and rational). We continue to receive patients who visit us for the first time with irreproachable oral hygiene and who continue to use oral rinses / mouthwashes several times a day . Rationalizing this question, even a child would understand. It’s like having a source of a bad smell in your home kitchen and cleaning the living room with bleach.
It should be noted that even oral rinses that contain antimicrobials contain certain deodorants such as mint that promote the illusion that the origin of the problem is being acted on (because by releasing a mint odor – more intense than the bad smell present – masks it for about 15 minutes). However, it should be very clear to everyone that if the bad smell returns a short time later, the rational conclusion is that its origin is not in the mouth. During the minutes in which the rinse worked, there was not a “eliminating” effect, but a “trick” effect on the nose (which is not capable of detecting two odors at the same time; the most intense prevailing as a rule).
Ultimately, it is most reasonable to trust a specialized health professional to find out the cause of halitosis and provide us with a diagnosis.