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How Dry Mouth Can Lead To Bad Breath

Aug 17, 2007
Bad breath, or halitosis, affects many people, but it is preventable, and there are steps to treat and control it. There are many cause of halitosis, but frequently it is due to poor dental hygiene. It is also caused by a condition know as xerostomia, or dry mouth. A lack of saliva upsets the natural chemistry in one's mouth, and the result is bad breath. Some foods, such as sauerkraut, emphasize bad breath and are avoidable. Halitosis is also an unwanted side effect of some medications, as well as a symptom of some serious medical conditions. A symptom of kidney failure, for example, is ammonia-like breath, while a symptom of out of control diabetes is a sickly-sweet smelling breath odor.

Perhaps the most effective solution for halitosis is simple oral hygiene. Regular flossing and brushing, as well as yearly dentist exams, are critical in maintaining oral health. Proper oral care also induces consistent saliva secretion, a necessary component of a healthy digestive system. Saliva is a digestive secretion that assists in the breakdown of larger food particles and lubricates the mouth and upper digestive tract. When a person secretes less saliva than normal, the conditions are prime for bacterial growth, because saliva helps control the pH of the mouth, keeping it slightly acidic to deter bacterial growth. These bacteria produce foul, sulfur-smelling gases that cause the bad breath.

Not only does one's oral chemistry affect one's breath, but so too does heredity play a part. People with long papillae, or fibers on their tongue, or those with rougher than average tongues, tend to have more pronounced stubborn halitosis because the odor-producing bacteria are deeply entrapped. If this is a problem, pay special attention to tongue hygiene, but do not scrape it or brush it excessively hard. A condition called "burning tongue syndrome" can develop, and lead to an overly sensitive tongue.

Since the human body is about 70% water, drinking enough water is an excellent way to combat a dry mouth; the average adult should drink at least gallon of water per day. This allows the body's cells operate at maximum efficiency, produce enough saliva, and helps facilitate regular intestinal motility. It is important to drink water before the sense of thirst sets in; once you feel thirsty, your body is already beginning to dehydrate. Chewing gum also helps stimulate saliva secretion, but it is important to chew sugarless gum to help avoid tooth decay.

Regular brushing and flossing, adequate water consumption, and a change in diet are all steps to avoid bad breath. If, after addressing the above issues, halitosis persists, consult a dentist, as this may be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
About the Author
Huzaili Aris is the webmaster of http://www.bad-breath-resource.com Discover how you can stop bad breath in it's tracks by trying out our 15 day trial bad breath solution system for free by visiting http://www.bad-breath-resource.com/iwantfreshbreath
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