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Bad Breath (halitosis) Research

Frequently Asked Questions


Saliva is the natural mouthwash we were born with. People who do not have sufficient flow of saliva tend to suffer from more dental caries and periodontal disease. They have more trouble wearing dentures.

Bad breath is worst when there is little or no saliva flow, for example after a night's sleep. As soon as one wakes up and starts to salivate, the smell recedes somewhat.

Another classic way to get saliva flowing is to drop a few drops of lemon on your tongue (also helpful for saxophone players).

Yoga teaches another way to get the saliva flowing. Roll your tongue from the sides to the center and breathe in very quickly through your mouth. Yet another approach is to think of a tender chicken breast (or whatever gets your juices flowing).

Many things have an effect on reducing saliva flow. Not drinking enough is one. Living in a hot climate, drinking is very important. Ask any camel...

One common item that causes our mouths and throats to dry out is stress and nerves. Just being nervous can cause bad breath. Unfortunately, the very thought of having bad breath stresses some people, and can lead to a self-fulfilling state.

Another cause of dry mouth is talking too much. This is an occupational hazard of teachers, lawyers, and extroverts. Be careful. Not only can talking dry your mouth out, but bad breath is smelled by others mainly when you are talking, not breathing.

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