Family Dental, Springfield, Oregon

Can You Have Bad Breath Without Knowing It?

Can You Have Bad Breath Without Knowing It?

Bad breath is something that nobody wants to think they have. But over half of the US population suffers from what is also known as halitosis. Most of those who have bad breath don’t realize their breath smells to others. Having bad breath is not something anyone wants to have but how can you tell if you have it? Here are some simple ways to can detect halitosis.

Dr. Jonathan Levine, DMD. suggests "Wipe the surface of your mouth with a piece of cotton gauze and smell that. If you notice a yellowish stain on the cotton, that’s a likely sign that you have an elevated sulfide production level. Now, lick the back of your hand. Let it dry for about 10 seconds, then smell. If you notice an odor, you have a breath disorder because the sulfur salts from your tongue have been transferred to your hand.”

One sign of bad breath is that you sleep with your mouth open. According to Dr. Levine, if you sleep with your mouth open it will dry your mouth out. This causes halitosis. People who have their mouth open while they sleep usually do this because they are having trouble breathing through their nose. So a good place to start in preventing bad breath is to address any nasal or allergy issues before bed time so you have keep your month closed and not dry out your month.

Another sign is a white tongue. The white substance on your tongue is composed of sulfur compounds that have come to the surface. As you speak, air moves over the surface of your tongue and causes these sulfur compounds to be picked up and carried out your month giving your breath a bad oder.

Gastric reflux which produces churning acid in your stomach can cause bad breath. The oder from the acid and other gases come up through your esophagus and enter the mouth. When you talk or breathe near someone, these chemicals will come out of your month and make your breath stink. One way to help prevent this is by drinking a couple of glasses of water about 30 mins before you eat and then not drinking anything until 2-3 hours after each meal. This will allow your stomach acid to work most efficiently. Drinking liquid with your meals will require your stomach to produce more acid in order to digest your food and give you gastric reflux. Eating a more plain and simple diet can also help.

Another thing to watch out for is the kinds of food you eat. Certain foods can give you bad breath. Dr. Levine says “High-protein foods, coffee, onions and garlic, sugar, acidic foods and drinks, and dairy products all result in worse breath because they create an environment for the bad bacteria to grow. It needs to be balanced with fruits, veggies, and alkalinizing good foods.”

If you smoke or chew tobacco, you can be sure that you will have bad breath. “They decrease the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva contains oxygen, which keeps your mouth healthy and fresh.” This is yet another good reason to make the effort to quit these habits.

There are a number of medications that have a side effect of giving you a dry month. This can lead to bad breath as saliva keeps your month clean. If you have this issue, you might want to ask your doctor if there are alternative medications which will not give you a dry month.


1847 Pioneer Parkway East. Springfield, OR 97477

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