Dentists are one of the first lines of defense against bad breath
SUMMARY: It may sound obvious, but it pays to listen to your dentist. Besides being a healthcare professional that can clean, whiten and straighten your teeth, dental health workers are seasoned experts when it comes to bad breath.
Posted: May 23, 2011
It may sound obvious, but it pays to listen to your dentist. Besides being a healthcare professional that can clean, whiten and straighten your teeth, dental health workers are seasoned experts when it comes to bad breath.
Consider an article in the Journal of the American Dental Association dealing with xerostomia, a condition otherwise known as dry mouth. The report states that, contrary to what many people think, having a parched tongue and palate is not all that uncommon, but that it is a big deal.
Xerostomia can be caused by disease, but very often it is simply a product of arid air moving over the tongue. Smoking, drinking alcohol, exercising, speaking at length or even getting nervous can dry up the mouth's saliva supply, leaving it open to bacterial growth.
Anaerobic oral microbes love a dry tongue, and xerostomia gives them a chance to be fruitful and multiply, effectively ruining your breath. Individuals who are prepared for dry-mouth emergencies - be they morning breath, smoker's breath or halitosis caused by pre-date jitters - know to carry a specialty breath freshening product that moistens the mouth as it alleviates odors.
Of course, any dentist can tell you as much. The connection between dentistry and a distaste for bad breath is probably as old as the profession itself.
A speech written by dentist H. Jerome Allen in 1896 and delivered to the Washington City Dental Society sums up the topic nicely.
"One of the most disagreeable features of dental practice is the occasional case of foetor ex ore [Latin for "bad breath"], which presents only too frequently," he begins, adding that "such cases are the more unbearable since they are almost invariably curable."
Halitosis, in other words, is a largely unnecessary form of suffering. Even though dry mouth can come from a host of conditions and can lead to pungent oral odor, simply moistening the palate is a good first step.
Many dentists recommend drinking plenty of water, in addition to brushing at least twice a day and flossing. For those who want to attack bad breath at the bacteriological source, an oral care probiotic treatment, like the Blis K-12 Probiotic Kit, can gradually replace odor-causing oral microorganisms with less irritating varieties.
Of course, if your dentist tells you that tooth decay is the root of your halitosis, you may need to consider a more thorough teeth-cleaning regimen, especially one that contains specialty breath freshening tongue scrapers, toothpastes with fluoride or rinses that neutralize voltalie sulfur compounds in the mouth.