Harold Katz

Harold Katz

Dentist and founder of The California Breath Clinics
Country: USA

  1. Dr. Harold Katz: A Biography
  2. The Oral Microbiome and its Effects on Bad Breath
  3. The Role of Personal Habits, Diet, and Medications

Dr. Harold Katz: A Biography

Dr. Harold Katz is a renowned dentist and the founder of "The California Breath Clinics". He is a leading expert in uncovering the causes of bad breath, including those that arise from the use of toothpaste and high-protein diets. Dr. Katz advises individuals to simply stick out their tongues and examine them in the mirror, as the condition of the tongue can reveal the reasons behind foul-smelling breath. The rough surface of the tongue can accumulate numerous bacteria responsible for the unpleasant odor. Billions of bacteria remain in the mouth after consuming protein-rich food and produce malodorous waste.

The Oral Microbiome and its Effects on Bad Breath

Dr. Katz emphasizes that the mouth is teeming with living organisms - bacteria - that thrive in warm and dark conditions. Some types of bacteria are beneficial, as they help the body fight off invaders and aid in protein digestion. However, others are hostile and can ultimately cause pharyngitis and ear infections.

Regardless of their status, bacteria colonies reside and reproduce beneath the surface of the tongue, at the back of the throat, and on the tonsils if they have not been removed. These microorganisms consume and secrete waste products that have truly foul odors. Certain types of sulfur-producing bacteria release harmful and repugnant sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs; methyl mercaptan, with an odor reminiscent of rotten cabbage; and putrescine and cadaverine, both smelling like decomposing flesh.

Some of these compounds are so potent that they are found in nature - in the scent glands of skunks. The surface of the human tongue has its own peculiarities, and differences in topography can influence the likelihood and degree of bad breath.

As a general rule, the rougher the tongue, the more problems its owner will have with breath odor. Some tongues are covered in deep crevices and cracks. For example, a fissured tongue, due to the presence of cracks, becomes an ideal environment for bacterial reproduction.

A yellow or white coating on the tongue indicates the presence of bacterial waste and bacterial corpses.

Some tongues have papillae (fibers on the upper surface of the tongue) that are slightly larger than usual. This phenomenon is called "hairy tongue".

The longer the papillae, the rougher the tongue, which means there are more crevices where bacteria responsible for bad breath can hide. Many dentists encourage people to use a tongue scraper to eliminate bacteria. However, a tongue scraper is not recommended for people with "hairy tongue" due to the risk of severe irritation or injury.

Even when you diligently use toothpaste and dental floss, you are not immune to the discussed issue.

The Role of Personal Habits, Diet, and Medications

Oral hygiene is important, but your personal habits, diet, and medications have the greatest influence on creating favorable conditions for harmful bacteria. Typically, odor-causing microorganisms are always present in limited amounts in the mouth. Your body finds ways to suppress bacterial growth. However, sometimes the natural defense mechanism is insufficient to effectively suppress bacterial colonization.

Some toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulfate, a surfactant that creates foam but does not clean the surface of the teeth. Serious side effects associated with the use of this additive, including dermatitis and mouth ulcers, have recently been discovered. Make sure that sodium lauryl sulfate is not listed as an ingredient in your toothpaste.

Protein-rich foods provide nutrition for bacteria in the mouth. If you suffer from cough with phlegm, it is worth noting that mucus also contains protein that feeds bacteria.

Sugars - sucrose, glucose, fructose - are efficient fuel for all types of bacteria, from those responsible for bad breath to those that cause plaque formation, gum disease, and tooth discoloration. Moreover, sweets contribute to tooth decay.

In the back of the throat, tonsil stones can form - white or yellowish solid pieces of sticky bacterial waste. This is a fairly common problem among individuals who have not had their tonsils removed. Tonsil stones emit an unpleasant odor and can be a cause of halitosis.

Dry mouth is another factor that promotes rapid bacterial growth. Dryness can be caused by smoking, alcohol consumption, and sleep apnea. If you suffer from sleep apnea and frequently breathe through your mouth, you are also prone to problems with saliva production, which can lead to potential issues with bad breath.

Acidic juices can also contribute to bad breath. Bacteria thrive in an acidic environment.

Another cause of bad breath can be diseased gums. Due to the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the tooth, bacteria can enter the bloodstream.

If you take medications that affect the immune system, your body may be unable to limit bacterial growth. There are also certain medications that cause dry mouth.

Lastly, lactose intolerance can lead to the presence of a sour milk odor in the mouth when consuming dairy products.