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Do you think your morning breath isn’t that bad?

Bad breath can be from a combination of smelly foods like garlic. However, if you have chronic bad breath (halitosis) it is actually not from the food that you eat, but from from volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) in your mouth. The VSCs are actually a build-up of anaerobic bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria likes to live on your tongue, your gums, and crevices of your teeth that do not get much oxygen. The bacteria feeds off food that you eat and especially likes sugary products. As the bacteria utilizes the food into energy it releases sulfur as a by-product, which causes the smell. Not only does the bacteria produce bad breath, but it can also cause gum disease, tooth decay, dry mouth, and sinus problems.

Breath mints are not going to make the problem go away either. Mints may mask the problem for a few minutes, but as soon as the mint is gone the bad breath is back. The only way to fix the problem is to get rid of the bacteria. Dr. McCargar, a Scottdale dentist says, “Brush your teeth twice daily. Floss and a tongue scraper are the most likely ways to get rid of the problem bacteria on your tongue and your gums. Alcohol-based mouth washes can actually dry out the mouth more and make it more susceptible to bacteria, so choose an alcohol-free mouthwash like biotene.” Dr. McCargar stresses that routine cleanings and proper oral hygiene can get you back on track to having kissable breath again.