The hygienist will assess the state of their gum health, perhaps with the Halometer to legitimize the problem. It is usually found that the person has unhealthy gums, and teeth cleanings and home care instructions are given. This is borne out by American Dental Association statistics indicate that 85 - 90 percent of all adults will have some form of gum disease during their lifetime.
In our office, the source of the problem is identified for each patient by assessing the types and numbers of oral bacteria. Our hygienist has a scholastic background in microbiology and the use of the microscope. Appropriate regimens are prescribed for each patient based upon individual microscopic and periodontal assessments. Gum infection is eliminated or controlled, healthy gums are developed with an added benefit - the person now has sweet breath and knows how to keep it that way.
Bad breath (a.k.a. oral malodor/fetor oris/halitosis) is a very common but insidious human predicament, in that it is rarely experienced by the offender. Since it is so personal, the one having it may never get a clue from those affected by it.
Studies indicate that this condition arises directly from either exhaled digestive gases, various conditions within the mouth, or a combination of both. Dental plaque bacteria that reside between the teeth and gums, tongue, and cheeks can absorb certain foods that have a high content of volatile sulfur compounds (VSC's). This alone can be offensive, especially the morning after a meal high in VSC's. Aside from the foods that have a high content of VSC's, the plaque by itself that causes gum disease (periodontal disease or pyorrhea), is definitely the most common cause of bad breath. Add to this, high VSC foods such as garlic, etc., and you have a walking halitosis factory - an offender usually not "in the know".