Hi, my name is Dr. Robert Antolak, the owner of thegentledentist.com located out in Shelby Township, Michigan. Our phone number is 586-247-3500. I want to talk to you about something that’s very personal. What happens when you wake up in the morning?  Your mouth tastes really bad, right?  Your breath is usually pretty bad too, so your spouse will remind you, brush your teeth. But what develops is something that is very intimate and close but something that’s not often talked about and that’s bad breath. What is it? What’s bad breath?

Well, bad breath basically an odor, a sulfur odor like bad and rotten eggs that you smell that’s created by the bacteria that live on your tongue. And what happens is, is when you eat food and things like that, the bacteria metabolizes that food and it creates these sulfur products. And usually, they are harbored and live in the very back of the tongue.

So food gets trapped it creates the bad breath as it gets trapped in the creases and the grooves in the tongue. And it becomes, like I said, the nutrition for the bacteria.  The sulfur compound is released and the smell comes out of your mouth. Usually at nighttime it develops more because as you have a reduction in your saliva in your mouth, which happens naturally as you sleep, the bacteria continue to repopulate and then that bad breath continues to get worse. So when you wake up in the morning you have that nasty bad breath or that taste. That’s why you need to usually take care of that.  About 90% of the bad breath does originate from the back of the tongue where bacteria are.

So, what’s important is that people who have chronic nasal drip are also more susceptible. At nighttime, if they have post-nasal drip and the dry mouth that’ll even make the situation worse. Dry mouth caused by medications- dry mouth that’s caused by, people who smoke, dry mouth caused by just as we get older. See, people battling cancer, are really at  reduced saliva flow.

There’s a few things we want to do to take care of that and if you’re a smoker.  You know, obviously it’s the best if you don’t smoke.  But if you have to, then make sure that you really brush your teeth well after you do so. Anybody, before you go to bed, make sure that you brush your teeth well and you can even use a tongue scraper to help remove some of this bacteria from the mouth.

There’s a couple few other things that will cause this. One is dieting. When people actually go on a diet, as they lose weight, their stomach actually starts producing something called ketones. It’s not from the bacteria but it’s from the fact that they’re dieting. So many people who do go on a strict diet and have lost weight will also start maybe smelling a little bit of a difference in their mouth. But that’s not a bad thing because they’re reducing their body weight which is better overall.

People who drink alcohol, they’ll also have bad breath because that dries the mouth out. So alcohol containing mouth rinses are really a negligent thing because that also continues the process of keeping the mouth dry. So even though you think you’re doing something great, it works just for the short term. But the dry mouth continues and therefore the bacteria doesn’t, they stay in the mouth. So what you can do for treatment for bad breath is have regular dental check-ups.

Of course that now, the way of if you do have cavities in your mouth which can also harbor the bacteria or gum disease which also is a big factor with bad breath because in the gums, these bacteria can live and it also produces the sulfur containing bacteria. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can also be very good to helping improve your nutrition. Chewing on sugarless gum that increases the saliva flow helps to flush away some of these foods and helps with the turnover so you keep things fresh in your mouth.

Also like I said before, using a tongue scraper, sticking your tongue straight out far and bringing that tongue scraper all the way to the back of your tongue as far as you can go and just scraping a few times removes a large volume of these bacteria. So using that, using a non-alcoholic mouth rinse, visiting your dentist, and brushing and flossing are one of the best ways of doing that. So, if you have any questions about that, you can feel free to call us at (586) 247-3500. Or you can visit us on our website, where I do have more information on this, which is thegentledentist.com. Thank you.