Q. I have no cavities and very few fillings. When eating things like garlic, my bad breath stays even after I brush. So where does bad breath come from?
A. Bad breath can be caused by many things. Often times people with dental problems have a chronic bad breath problem and don’t even know it. Gum disease can be one of the worst offenders with a smell that is very pungent. If you feel you may have an offensive odor coming from your mouth or if you’ve been told there is a problem, go to your dentist first to make sure there is not an underlying dental problem. Once you have been cleared of any dental disease, you can usually clear up a problem with a very simple but overlooked product – a tongue scraper.
Ninety percent of bad breath comes from organic compounds that are stored on the dorsal or top surface of the tongue. It is very porous and has a large surface area, tons of nooks and crannies for bad smelling things like garlic to hide and resonate odor. A good quality tongue scraper can be found at a drug store or a dentist’s office from 50 cents to $10. After eating something that typically causes bad breath, scrape your tongue then brush your teeth for two minutes. This will remove the offensive agent and return your breath to fresh and unnoticeable.
Mark McOmie, D.M.D.
McOmie Family Dentistry
5999 Shallowford Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421