While understood to be a part of general health management, oral health often doesn’t get the attention it deserves.  In fact, 47% of Americans over 30 are diagnosed with gum disease which can contribute to other serious medical problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and uncontrolled diabetes according to the CDC (Center for Disease Prevention and Control).

Acronyms are no stranger in the medical world, necessary to save us long winded discussions and to give the industry a basic language to discuss with the public.  Today, we break down a shorthand that highly matters when discussing oral health, VSC, short for Volatile Sulfur Compounds.

Specifically, VSC’s entail three specific compounds, hydrogen sulfide, dimethyl sulfide, methal mercaptin, each of which is connected to negative effects to your overall oral health. These bad bacteria are responsible for degenerating health conditions, as well as, the ‘bad breath’ odors similar to rotten eggs, rotting fish, and human waste.

Anaerobic bacteria in your mouth thrive off the materials we consume; when we eat, they eat.  If the bacteria are not removed on a frequent basis they continue to multiply and produce toxins, which contribute to advancing periodontal disease and halitosis. If untreated, or not fully treated, it can lead to major issues such as tooth loss.

Please continue to follow our Blog posts, as next time we will be talking more about VSC’s and why they are important to measure. Until next time!


Dr. Cam