Over the counter breath strips, breath mints,
gum and most mouthwashes are basically just a perfume
for your mouth. If you have a very short-term feeling
of bad breath, then any of these things can be effective. The
key to using any of these sort of things is to use them cautiously
and every once in a while.

If you use the breath strips too frequently, they can
literally change the bacterial content in your mouth. Your
mouth has a very delicate equilibrium of naturally occurring
bacteria, some of which are good for you and some
of which are bad for you. The key is to try to knock off the
bad guys, while trying to preserve the good guys.

If you use too many of these breath strips in a day or in the course of a
week, you can end up killing off all the bacteria, which then
can cause a yeast infection to grow in your mouth.
This same thing is true if you use a strong mouthwash
for too long of a time or if you are taking antibiotics for
an infection somewhere else in your body and you need to
take it for a few weeks. The yeast infection in the mouth can
be a very nasty occurrence and needs to be treated, most of
the time, with some fungal medication.

It is just like anything else - too much of a good thing
can really be bad for you. This is particularly true of all of
the fresh breath over the counter products.

If you find that you are using these products too often,
then you may have chronic bad breath. There have been a
lot of developments in the bad breath field and it just so
happens that this is one of the topics I often teach dentists
around the United States. Many times bad breath is connected
to gum disease, and probably just as often, it can
occur in completely normal, healthy mouths.

If you have any questions about needed or cosmetic
dental treatment, please call us for a free consultation at
440-892-1810. We are always here to help you. As always,
our goal is to help you develop and maintain a healthy
smile.

-Dr. Malcmacher

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