Brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing are good ways to maintain dental health and avoid bad breath. They may not be enough, however. According to a recent article in the Oklahoma Daily, paying attention to just the teeth can mean missing a halitosis hotbed - the tongue.
Bad breath, whether it smells like coffee, milk, rotten food or a night spent with the mouth hanging open, is largely caused by drying of the tongue. Certain foods, sleeping, coughing, smoking and even just talking can decrease the amount of saliva in the mouth.
Without that moisture, and minus the proteins in saliva that naturally eliminate microorganisms, bacteria begin to grow on the tongue. Added to that are food particles, which can stick between taste buds, especially toward the back of the tongue. The result is bad breath laden with funky organic compounds like hydrogen sulfide, the result of bacterial digestion.
The news source recommends brushing the tongue with a toothbrush or using a tongue scraper to remove food particles and leftover oils from the mouth. To rid the breath of its smell, individuals may consider using specialty breath freshening products that neutralize sulfuric compounds and leave the mouth smelling clean.