© Mone Beeck
Customer: Good afternoon. I wonder if you could suggest something to get rid of bad breath?
PTA: Is this a recent problem or have you had it for some time?
Customer: I’m not sure but I’ve noticed it in the last few days and I find it very embarrassing. I work at an information centre, so I get quite close to people.
PTA: Bad breath or halitosis is a common problem and most cases are due to disorders in the mouth itself. Have you had any dental treatment or lifestyle changes?
Customer: Not really.
PTA: Is there any diabetes in your family?
Customer: No, why?
PTA: High blood sugar levels tend to trigger various disorders such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Eighty percent of these go unnoticed as they are usually painless in the early stages. Are you taking any medication?
Customer: Not at the moment.
PTA: Some medicines, antidepressant, antihistamine or antihypertensive drugs for example, can reduce the flow of saliva, which is necessary to flush away food and to neutralize acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.
Customer: My mouth is often dry, especially in the morning.
PTA: Do you practice good oral hygiene?
Customer: I clean and floss my teeth twice a day.
PTA: Do you clean your tongue?
Customer: My tongue? No.
PTA: The back of the tongue is the most common location for causes of bad breath. It is usually dry and provides the ideal habitat for bacteria that produce halitosis.
Customer: I sometimes have a white coating on my tongue.
PTA: As do most people but this kind of bacteria are invisible to the naked eye. Brush your tongue regularly using a soft brush or a tongue scraper, making sure you reach as far back as possible. Have you lost weight recently?
Customer: Yes, I was on a diet for about six weeks.
PTA: That could be another reason for your problem. So-called ketones result from the decomposition of lipids and are produced during a weight reduction diet. They also cause the breath to smell.
Customer: So, what do you suggest I do?
PTA: Maintain good oral hygiene, clean your tongue, drink plenty of water, avoid fruit juices or cola and eat healthily. Try chewing sugar-free chewing gum. It stimulates salivation and helps to keep the teeth clean.
Customer: What about mouthwash?
PTA: I can recommend several products including an antibacterial mouthwash, which I can show you. If, however, there is no improvement within a week or two, make an appointment with your doctor or dentist. They will make sure that there is nothing serious at the root of the matter.
Customer: I’ll do that. Thank you very much.
PTA: You’re welcome.
The Mouth: An Important Biosphere
Hier finden Sie den kompletten Heftarchivartikel An Important Biosphere (Ausgabe 09/2021) aus unserer Serie English for PTA.
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