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Bad Breath (halitosis) Research

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Bacteria in and around the gumline

brushins.gif (6769 bytes)Some people don't accumulate dental plaque and calculus. They are few and far between. Most of us need to visit hygienists to get our teeth cleaned periodically. As hygienists can tell you, the smell of what comes out between our teeth and our gums is awful.
These areas are perfect hiding places for bacteria. The bacteria that grow beneath the gum line are a combination of those that use oxygen and those that can grow only when the oxygen is gone. These two kinds of bacteria live in harmony, the first type consuming the available oxygen, and the second kind taking advantage of the oxygen- free environment. This second kind is generally considered to be responsible for the smell - a fierce combination of volatile sulphur compounds, combined with a variety of others, possibly including nitrogen-containing gases such as cadaverine (smell of corpses) and putrescine (smell of decaying meat).