Note from Dr. Katz’ desk:
As a dentist specializing in the treatment of halitosis, I have treated over ten thousand patients through the California Breath Clinics. I typically start each first consultation with a brief overview I thought would be helpful to share with you. It goes a little something like this…
Everyone has the germs responsible for bad breath living on their tongue and in the back of their throat. Under the right circumstances, those germs will cause bad breath. The trick to always having fresh breath is stopping those bad breath germs from gobbling up protein, digesting it, and excreting sulfur all over your mouth… Sorry about painting that picture, but it’s a very accurate description of what takes place in your mouth every day.
Luckily, it’s not complicated to keep bad breath bacteria in check. Here are five simple and common sense tips you can use every day to minimize opportunities for halitosis to strike:
1. Drink plenty of water
It’s good for you. It keeps you strong, thin, healthy, and young looking. It also keeps your breath fresh. A well hydrated mouth is one rich with saliva. Saliva is your body’s own and most effective germ fighter. Drink more water, have more saliva, control mouth germs, have fresher breath. Simple, right?
2. Check your prescriptions
Medication that may improve your overall health may also improve the environment for bad breath germs. Many prescriptions have dry mouth as a side effect. Dry mouth means a lack of saliva and rampant bacterial growth. If you experience Dry Mouth from prescriptions, using a regimen such a TheraBreath Toothpaste and Oral Rinse will help restore a healthy amount of moisture and encourage saliva production. A healthy level of saliva is necessary to maintain fresh breath.
3. Rinse after every meal (even if it’s only with water)
Most people brush only once a day. As a dentist, it’s disappointing to say the least. That means that food you have at breakfast after your morning brushing has a chance to feed bacteria in your mouth for 23 or so hours. That’s more than enough time to not only feed bad breath bacteria but to encourage plaque and decay. If I can’t get you to brush after every meal, at least rinse with drinking water. Swish it around vigorously to remove traces of sugars and proteins and dislodge any food that may stick in between teeth and gums. Then spit or swallow, as the occasion dictates.
Remember however that water will simply remove pollutants that will feed bacteria that cause bad breath. To effectively control this bacteria you will need to use a toothpaste and mouthwash with an active ingredient such as TheraBreath. And don’t be like most people… remember to brush every morning AND every night. Your dentist will thank you.
4. Protein supplements feed germs too
Many nutritional supplements like whey and creatine are a germs perfect snack. It makes sense. Those supplements are designed to rapidly and efficiently feed your body. On the way to your stomach they feed hungry germs in your oral cavity as well. If you are taking protein supplements make sure you carefully and thoroughly brush and rinse after every dose. Don’t give bad breath germs a free meal.
5. A white or yellow tongue means germs are having a party
The colored coating on your tongue is actually a layer of bacteria waste. There, I said it. If your tongue has a thick coating that is white or yellow, it typically means bacteria are running wild. You will usually see such a coating if you forgot to brush the night before, after drinking alcohol which both feeds bacteria and dries your mouth, or if you are having a minor sore throat or other bacterial infection.
To help the problem, clean your tongue as well as the inside of your cheeks with either a tongue scraper or toothbrush covered with TheraBreath Toothpaste. This will quickly remove the coating and begin to control the bacteria producing it. Left unchecked, this bacteria can lead to much worse oral care problems than simple halitosis.
My patients have always found these tips helpful, and I hope you will too.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Harold Katz