Recently, he appeared on WACH FOX 57 in Columbia, South Carolina, to explain how our mouths develop odor and what we can do to eliminate it. The prime cause of bad breath, he said, is dry mouth.
Whether you sleep with your mouth open, smoke cigarettes or just generally have low saliva flow, dry mouth is your enemy when it comes to bad breath. Dr. Katz told reporter Tyler Ryan that having too little moisture on your tongue and palate allows anaerobic bacteria to multiply.
It is these microorganisms that lead to halitosis. Without adequate moisture, they can go wild digesting proteins, oils and dead cells in your mouth, ultimately emitting sulfur-based molecules as a byproduct of their digestion. These molecules are what lead your co-workers to offer you mints – that is, drop you hints.
Of course, other things can lead to halitosis too. Smoking is an obvious cause of oral odor, as are foods that leave a smell in your mouth, like garlic, onions or spicy dishes.
Furthermore, the foods you eat may lead to oral odor in a more roundabout way. If you are on a special diet – say, one that involves avoiding carbohydrates in favor of proteins – you may be doing your mouth a disservice.
What is the remedy? Dr. Katz explained that specialty breath fresheners that oxygenate the mouth can keep bacteria from thriving. Likewise, rinses, lozenges or tablets that moisten the palate may prevent microbes from multiplying.
By using such products, you may be able to clamp down on your halitosis.