Insights - January 11, 2018 Dry Mouth (xerostomia) Inhibition of saliva can be caused by a number of things; smoking, medication; mouth breathing; chemo, radiation therapy and dehydration to name a few. Saliva acts as a lubricant, a digestive aid and also has a role in oral hygiene. Saliva maintains the pH in the mouth. With a reduction in the salivary flow, it function is affected. The mouth loses its ability to clear food particles, resulting in a build-up of bacteria which can result in halitosis (bad breath). Solution: Sugar free chewing gum helps to stimulate saliva, salivary substitutes, Drink water regularly, sugar free pastilles, ice chips. Morning breath While we are sleeping, the body is busy detoxifying, repairing, and regenerating tissues. Saliva production dramatically slows during sleep there can be a build-up of bacteria after sleeping. This is relatively normal and is quite common. Solution: Drink plenty of water to hydrate and help eliminate toxins Specific Foods Onions and garlic are the foods we most commonly associate with bad breath. However, foods high in sulfer are also contributing to this; for example cauliflower and brussel sprouts. These foods may not taste strong however they do contain sulfuric producing compounds when they are digested. Solution: Try to minimize the intake of these particular foods if you find it is causing bad breath Sinus infection or cold There is a build-up of bacteria and mucous in the nasal cavity which travel between the nasal cavity and the throat. This can cause a build up of bacteria which can result in halitosis. Solution: Take local remedies. Cavities When there is a defect in the tooth structure food particles can get trapped and cause decay. This also acts as a food trap and can harbour bacteria and produce odour. Solution: Regular check ups to prevent large cavities and eliminate bacteria. Compromised Immunity Bad breath is often caused from a build up of bacteria. When our immune systems are compromised the bacteria that is contributing to halitosis is not as well controlled. Solution: Take vitimins and eat well to keep bacterial/viral infections at bay. Throat Infection/Strep Throat Bacteria in the throat travel to the oral cavity and can reside on the tongue. This can cause a foul odour. Solution: Cleaning/Brushing the tongue can help with this, and ensure the throat infection is being treated. Heartburn or Acid reflux gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition where acid from the stomach leaks back up the oesophagus and can trigger bad breath.Solution: Get the condition under control; you may need to see a doctor to cure this.