Bad breath is not attractive. At all. Want to know something really scary? You might have bad breath and not even be aware of it. Yikes. Do you brush your teeth twice a day? For those of you who responded with a “yes” great! For those of you who responded with “no” tsk tsk. Be ashamed. Be very ashamed. To my bi-daily brushers, are you also giving your tongue a good scrub? I sure hope so.
THE TONGUE The back of the tongue harbors the majority of bacteria found in the mouth and can be at the root of what we smarty-pants like to call halitosis (AKA bad breath). The science behind halitosis is quite simple, so stay with me here. When breaking down particles of food, bacteria on your in your mouth and on your tongue cause gas. Composed of volatile sulfur compounds, the gas gives off a nasty smelling odor. If you kill the bacteria, then you kill the gas; thus putting an end to bad breath.
SCRAPE IT OFF Brushing the tongue with your toothbrush actually spreads the bacteria around versus getting rid of it altogether. To truly banish bacteria that is lodged on the top of your tongue (not a nice image, right?), you need to scrape it off. A tongue scraper is a worth-it investment for anybody dealing with major bad breath issues. First thing in the morning, scrape that tongue of yours and perhaps people at the office won’t keep their distance.
CHEW AWAY Not able to scrape your tongue in the middle of the day when your mouth gets dry and your breath begins to reek of malodor? Pop a piece of gum and start chewing away. Not only will the gum freshen your breath for the time being, it will cause your mouth to cultivate newly made saliva that cleans your mouth temporarily. Saliva helps to clear the mouth of food and bacteria that can be causing you to be the poor unfortunate soul suffering from halitosis.
GUM DISEASE Gum disease can also cause bad breath. An unclean mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. If you have a consistently dry mouth and constant bad breath, see your dentist as soon as possible. Dryness and a sour taste in your mouth are signs of possible gum disease, with the dryness due to lack of saliva. Without saliva present to wash away food particles and bacteria, your gums are more susceptible to disease.