The Source of Bad Breath

Bad Breath has many possible sources.

Of course good oral hygiene is important and when this does not resolve the bad breath, check with your dental provider to see if gum disease is an issue. A simple 10 minute periodontal evaluation in our office can answer this question definitively.

Similar to other problems, the best way to decipher a source is checking the medical condition and list of medications of the patient.

Many medications have the side effect of dry mouth. When the mouth is dry, saliva that is normally present to suspend or “water down” the effect of bacteria is missing. The effect is that those bacteria colonies attack more readily the tooth structures and tongue and then replicate. Bacteria creates toxins that smell. Drinking more water is an effective way to prevent this problem and medication- related problems. A major component of a healthy diet is 8oz x 8 glasses of water per day. Most patient’s reaction is “that’s a lot of water!” My recommendation is to test yourself with a large measured water bottle today and see what liquid you are consuming. Try to add more through the next two weeks. You will feel better in all your activities. In winter time, it is more difficult to drink water because our thirst response is lower.  Arizona is really dry already but with indoor heaters and dry winter air, the amount of water is the same as summer time.

Another source could be sinus issues and the mucus it produces. Rinsing the sinus with salt water (1- teaspoon of salt in tepid water), drinking tea (decaffeinated tea without sugar is healthier) to allow the sinus to drain. Running a cool water humidifier overnight during sleep also helps to get moisture into the sinus. Check to see if the mucus is dark green or yellow in color. It may be a sinus infection. After 3 days, its time to see your physician about this.

There is research indicating that vitamin B complex deficiency is also involved with mouth odor. Some medical conditions, dietary and medications can reduce vitamin B in our bodies. Supplementing vitamin B can be over used –“so B careful” “B aware.”

by Dr. Robert Carlisi, D.D.S.,

Carlisi Restorative Dentistry, Prescott, AZ

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