tongue the bad breath culprit

Why Your Tongue is Almost Always the Single Biggest Culprit of Bad Breath

By Richard Miller

The simple reason why we get bad breath is because of the bacteria in our mouth. We all have bacteria, but not everyone has the many characteristics that cause bad breath. In the over 20 years I’ve devoted to curing people suffering from mild to the most severe bad breath, I can tell you the single biggest culprit is the tongue. The good news is that whether you have chronic bad breath or not, it is almost certainly curable.

The tongue’s surface is like a small bacterial breeding ground. There are four different kinds of taste buds that make up the surface of the tongue. Simply put, it is the arrangement of these taste buds, their height and width, and the spaces between them that either accumulate a tongue coating (also called biofilm), or not. The more biofilm, the more potential for odor. The deeper the spaces between the taste buds, the more bacterial accumulation and the more odor.

In addition, the activity (or virulence) of these bacteria and their volume play a most important part. Without a doubt, the larger and thicker your tongue coating, the worse the bad breath will be. Within the coating, the bacteria are highly active and exist in a deep, protected layer of food particles, dead skin cells, dead blood cells, and debris — the tongue biofilm — like a living organism itself. All these parts of the coating protect the bacteria and allow them to constantly produce odor-causing compounds from deep within the biofilm.

This is a primary reason that mouthwashes and bad breath preparations must be used repeatedly: the solution cannot get into the deeper layers that may have been accumulating for years or decades. Thus, they can only neutralize a few days odor. It is also why a tongue scraper only removes yesterday’s layers and does not penetrate deep into the biofilm.

A Breakthrough Total Cure For Bad Breath

At the National Breath Center, when testing for odor on the tongue, we wipe the back of the tongue 2-3 times with a clean white gauze. The more coating that comes off, the more odor we find. Cause and effect. Coupled with the three other diagnostic tests we use, we can determine the contribution of the tongue coating in bad breath.

When someone does have bad breath, they most certainly have a tongue coating with excessive and virulent bacterial. That is why Tongue Rejuvenation, our bad breath treatment procedure for painlessly removing the tongue coating is an integral part of treatment and contributes to the Total Cure.

About the Author

Richard A. Miller, DDS is the founder and director of the National Breath Center located in Falls Church, VA. General dentist for over 30 years and author of two books, Beating Bad Breath(1993) and Beating Bad Breath -- The Cure!(2014), Dr. Miller has been helping thousands win their battle with chronic bad breath using his proven bad breath Total Cure professional treatment. Learn more at National Breath Center.