Dry Mouth:

Dry Mouth and Its Relationship to Bad Breath, Sour, and Bitter Taste

by Dr. Harold Katz
Founder of The California Breath Clinics

Saliva is a very important part of Oral Health. With regards to the topic of dry mouth, saliva provides three important functions:

  • Provides enzymes to help with digestion of food
  • Provides a method to stabilize the pH (keep the acid levels in check)
  • Provides high levels of oxygen in order to keep oral tissues healthy and fresh.

If you suffer from dry mouth (Xerostomia) symptoms, you naturally have less saliva. In turn, less saliva means less oxygen. If there is less oxygen available in the oral environment you have an anaerobic environment, which is perfect for these sulfur-producing bacteria. In essence, the bacteria are now capable of making high levels of sulfur gases, which in turn make the breath and taste worse.

We are the only National Breath Center that includes in their standard treatment an all natural Saliva-Stimulation medication that we import from Sweden. This medication actually stimulates the salivary glands to produce an oxygen-rich type of saliva, which works extremely well with our Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide oral rinse and oral gel in order to inhibit the production of the foul-smelling and tasting sulfide and mercaptan compounds.

There are various types of "tongue formations" which are merely descriptions of the geography of the tongue. Generally, the rougher one's tongue, the more likely they are to have a bad breath problem. This is connected to the belief by some that "bad breath" can be an inherited trait. Truthfully, one cannot inherit the bacteria of bad breath, but one can inherit a specific "shape or geography" of tongue, just as one would inherit a parent's eye color, hair color, height, and ear shape.

In the graphic on this page, one sees a deep groove going down the middle of the tongue; this is known as a "fissured" tongue and it may lead to a great deal of the anaerobic bacteria breeding at the bottom of this fissure, because Oxygen cannot get to the bottom of the fissure (another reason why tongue scraping without oxidizing products, is a waste of time.)

Some people may have a condition known as "hairy tongue", which again describes the fibers that make up the tongue (papillae), being slightly longer than the norm. The longer the papillae, the more rough the appearance of the tongue and of course the better to trap the sulfur producing bacteria.

Once the tongue becomes very dry, or if the tongue becomes abused by extra hard scraping or brushing, the outer layer becomes very sensitive. One prevalent condition among older people is "burning tongue syndrome". It is common among both sexes, but slightly higher among women. That fact has caused some scientists to believe that there is a hormonal component to "burning tongue syndrome". Many patients who are diabetic, may notice a burning of the tongue, once they become thirsty. It is important, when one has these types of symptoms, to stay away from alcohol-based oral rinses. The resulting pain is indescribably painful according to many of my patients.

The standard recommendation for Burning Tongue Syndrome is the following:
(among patients we have treated)

1. Stop using commercial any dry mouth aids or oral products which contain Alcohol and/or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (see list of oral products at "Oral Products That Create Halitosis").

2. Stop drinking citrus juices (tomato, orange, grapefruit, etc.)

3. Avoid coffee

4. Do not smoke

5. See your physician regarding possibility of Diabetes or Thyroid Problems

Daily Oral Regimen for Those who Have Burning Tongue Syndrome:

    a. Coat tongue twice daily with Therabreath ToothGel available at The California Breath Clinics and let sit on tongue for 90 seconds.

    b. Rinse with 1-2 capfuls of our Oral Rinse for 90 seconds.

    c. Drink 8 glasses of water per day.

    d. Take Vitamin C on a daily basis as recommended on label.

Tonsils and Tonsiloliths:
(Those white-yellow globs that get stuck in your throat).

These bacteria can breed very easily in the back of the throat, and especially the tonsils (if you have them.) One important fact to remember: The bacteria never start off in the throat or tonsils. They only get there because the "bugs" originate on the back of the tongue – which contacts the throat & tonsils EVERY TIME you swallow. When someone has post nasal drip or allergies, it is possible to form little "white globs" – scientifically known as Tonsiloliths. They are a combination of sulfur compounds (produced by the bacteria) and mucous (from post nasal drip). Their smell (if you’ve checked them out) is very STRONG! Do not attempt to pick them out yourself – you’ll cause a lot of bleeding. Many dentists and physicians don’t know what they are – they are not food particles and it is not the sign of infection. Do not run out and have a tonsillectomy – because you will still have bad breath – because the bugs are still on the back of your tongue. (If you no longer have your tonsils, a similar reaction takes place if you have had a history of sore throats – your throat is much rougher).

Here's what an increasing number of my patients have done to solve this problem: We have recently developed a concentrated tablet, known as AktivOxigen Tabs, as an addition to our TheraBreath product line. When added to an 8 oz. bottle of water, the tablet will create a powerful Oxygenating solution which one can use as their mouthwash and Gargle. Patients with tonsils, post nasal drip, or a white coating on their tongue have told me that if they Drink 4-5 capfuls of this solution, even their morning breath disappears! (It's because the oxygenation attacks the bacteria and their odorous sulfur production on the very back of the tongue, throat and/or tonsils – which cannot be reached through any other method.) You can also make a double strength Solution by adding 2 tablets to the 8 oz. bottle. AktivOxigen Tabs are easy to carry around and the resulting Unflavored solution is also very refreshing!

Click here to get a free copy of Dr. Katz's $19.95 book The Bad Breath Bible so you can overcome the dry mouth that's keeping you miserable.

Disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.