Halitosis? Bad Breath?
What causes bad breath?
1. Foods with pungent odors
2. Bacteria in the mouth and throat
3. Medical conditions such as respiratory track infections, gastrointestinal disease, diabetes.
Most often the cause is bacteria in the oral cavity which break down proteins in your saliva producing a foul smelling sulfur gas. Sulfur gas is what makes rotten eggs smell.
What to do? First of all reduce the amount of bacteria on the teeth, gums and tongue by brushing and flossing well. Don’t forget to brush and scrape your tongue. The tongue has nooks and crannies that harbor a load of bacteria. Special tongue scrapers can be purchased in our office and some large pharmacies. Many people find a couple of quick swipes with a tongue scraper to cause less gagging than using a brush.
Drink plenty of water. Water helps wash away bacterial by-products. A dry mouth, “cotton mouth” usually is associated with bad breath.
Mints and most mouthwashes just mask the odors for a short time. Good news is that there are some very effective mouthwashes which actually work by inactivating the sulfur compounds or inhibit the bacteria from ingesting the protein they use to make the smelly sulfur compounds in the first place.
Look for mouthwashes that contain stabilized chlorine dioxide or zinc. Give us a call for brand names and details.