By Dr. Lewis Gross
Bad breath and a sickly morning-after smile are handicaps from a Hamptons night of
overindulgence. Bombarded by carbonated drinks and excessive alcohol, our mouths
become dehydrated—a forced state of stress, degeneration and hangover halitosis. Lack
of quality saliva creates an acidic oral environment that, according to the Ecological
Plaque Hypothesis, promotes the growth of the bad bacteria that cause tooth decay and
While acidic foods and beverages make our saliva more acidic, the main culprit behind
bad breath is the acidic waste left behind by certain mouth-dwelling bacteria. These
anaerobic germs live in infected root canals and in food traps in our teeth and gums,
where they feed on processed carbohydrates. As plaque adheres to our teeth, it petrifies
those germs, which happily gather there to release their sulfur-smelling poop.
Another culprit are dead bacteria, old food and skin cells, whose decay contributes to
inflammation and receding of the gums. This inflammation is associated with chronic
gingivitis, and if it’s not treated it can become aggressive periodontitis, which flourishes
in an acidic oral environment.
The body’s defense against acidity and bad breath is saliva. Stimulating the production of
saliva boosts its protective properties. Our salivary glands weaken as we age, but we can
activate them by performing facial exercises like stretching wide and yawing, and by
massaging the glands. We can also supplement that natural defense with an alkaline oral
cleanses, which raises salivary pH.
DIY Protocol to Prevent Alcohol Halitosis
1. Stay hydrated with alkaline water during your binge and the day after.
2. Test your saliva with litmus paper. A score below 6.2 is acidic.
3. Reduce smoking and vaping, which dry out the mouth.
4. Bring your professional dental care up to code: Get frequent holistic dental
cleanings, close food traps, and treat infected root canals with ozone.
5. Drink lots of chamomile or peppermint tea at bedtime. Avoid alcohol after dinner,
because it will be the first thing you regurgitate at night.
6. Detox your mouth with five-day Alka-White Oral Cleanse, a safe, natural solution
of effervescent baking soda, coconut oil, xylitol and tea tree oil. Alkaline saliva
neutralizes the effects of acid reflux or regurgitation and balances the mouth
microbiome. Alka-White comes in tablet form. To freshen breath and remove
topical toxins on the go, chew a piece of the tablet, rinse with water and spit.
Dr. Lewis Gross is a holistic dentist in Tribeca and the creator of Alka-White Oral