Bad Breath

Dr. Lee Sheldon

About 200 million people in the United States use mouthwash, a $3 billion industry. Is it any wonder why we concentrate so much on bad breath?

Bacteria in the mouth primarily cause bad breath. The bacteria survive very well in the following areas:

1, Around and below the gum line in periodontal disease
2. On the surface of the oral tissues in a “dry mouth.”
3. Foods such as garlic and onions
4. Smoking
5. Medical conditions such as sinus and gastrointestinal problems

If your mouth stinks, let’s look at how to unstink it. Here are the simplest ways:

  1. Brush and floss your teeth. Look in the mirror and see where your brush is going. Don’t depend on “feel.” And yes, use a good electric toothbrush, not a cheap one. Plan on spending at least $60 for one. Mine costs about $150, and it’s well worth it. The $25 electric brushes don’t cut it, in my opinion.

For flossing, I use “Floss pics.” I keep them in the car and by my desk. That way, I can floss at a red light or when I’m taking a break from writing these tips. Remember that you’re cleaning the teeth with the floss, not just snapping out food particles.

  1. Rinse your mouth. Just eating or drinking significantly reduces the smelly compounds that accumulate in a dry mouth condition. Mouthwashes can improve that.
  2. Once garlic gets into your mouth, it gets into your bloodstream too. There’s not much you can do about that. But onion and garlic residues can be neutralized to some degree by mouthwashes.
  3. Get your teeth cleaned, and make sure you don’t have periodontal disease.
  4. If all of that doesn’t work, it’s time to see your physician to look at other causes.