Dental Flossing and the Prevention of Halitosis

Before proceeding to explore the possible relationship that may exist between dental flossing and the prevention of halitosis, we find ourselves with two terms to define; for the benefit of those among us who may be encountering these things for their first times.

The first term we need to define is dental flossing. Flossing turns out to be a process through which food remains as well as the plaque that gets stuck in the spaces between the teeth are cleaned up. It is a process which plays a supplementary, but extremely important (actually just as important) a role as the ordinary tooth-brush aided teeth cleaning process. Strictly speaking, brushing of teeth that is not followed or preceded by dental flossing would be termed as largely incomplete cleaning of teeth.

The second term that needs a definition, before the discussion can proceed is halitosis. Halitosis, as it turns out, simply refers to bad breath – or more simply put, bad smell emanating from the mouth. Few smells can be as offensive as that which emanates from a human mouth. The cruelest thing about it is that the person suffering from it usually doesn’t detect it (and may therefore lack the impetus to do something about it). It is others around him or her who have to put up with the bad breath. The others normally won’t take it lying down either. Some will start avoiding the person in question or treating him or her weirdly and the resultant situation can be quite distressing.

Definitions and basic descriptions done away with, we can now proceed into our discussion on dental flossing and the prevention of halitosis. This is where we start with the realization that one of the major subconscious motivations people have, for undertaking dental flossing, is in search of freedom from halitosis (whose social consequences we have just seen). Consciously, of course, the people will believe that they are undertaking dental flossing in search for wholesome dental health. And that is true – but the actual source of motivation which spurs the interest in this case is the search for halitosis cure or halitosis protection.

So our interest is in knowing whether, indeed, flossing has potential for the prevention of halitosis, and what mechanism makes that possible.

In order to understand those things, it would be important to take into consideration the fact that dental flossing is all about passing through the gaps that exist between the teeth a specially made thin piece of thread-like material, in order to get rid of bacteria and food particles that may be lodged there. These spaces between individual teeth are spaces that would otherwise remain dirty, as they are impossible to clean using the toothbrush. From this background, then, wouldn’t it make sense that flossing would go a long way towards the prevention of halitosis, whose one cause is improper dental hygiene?

What is worth keeping in mind though, is the fact that there are some cases of halitosis that originate from further down the digestive tract. Where these forms of halitosis manifest, proper teeth cleaning and proper dental-flossing would not be of great help in eliminating them. But where the halitosis is a result of poor oral hygiene, as is usually the scenario in most cases, then by all means, you would stand a very good chance to combat it effectively by proper brushing of teeth and dental flossing.