Thursday, July 11, 2019


How To Get Rid of Bad Breath, Once and For All

I’m So Embarrassed By My Bad Breath, What Can I Do? Help me out

It is a common problem and once you come to know that you have bad breath; it can lead to embarrassment, social anxiety, or even isolation in worst case scenarios.

First of all, don’t assume it’s your fault! Most people with bad breath are quick to blame themselves, but the problem isn’t always related to oral hygiene. In reality, it often stems from other causes, such as bacterial and yeast infections. These could be present in your own mouth, throat, nose, sinuses or digestive tract. If it’s a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be required, which can be prescribed by your medical doctor or dentist.

It’s difficult to identify if you are suffering from bad breath or not all by yourself. Mostly it’s your friends, family members, or colleagues who notice it at the first place. Generally people remain ignorant about the fact that they have bad breath until a person who means a lot points it out. Once they know, you can start expecting weird or conscious behavior from them including checking their breath continuously, staying too far away while speaking, etc.
What causes bad breath?

Poor oral hygiene tops in the list of the causes of bad breath. The bacteria in your mouth break down proteins in food which releases sulphur compounds and it’s these compounds that cause the smell.

In several cases it’s caused by illness, especially ones related to throat and tonsils.

For a yeast overgrowth, often caused by antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections or a diet high in sugar, It is often recommended taking caprylic acid (derived from coconut oil) and psyllium, shaken or blended into a glass of water, once a day. Another option is a combination of probiotics, pau d’arco (an antibacterial herb) and grapefruit seed extract, all of which can be taken orally. As well, taking probiotics to repopulate gut flora is essential.

An unhealthy gut can also be to cause for bad breath. Low acid production in the stomach, low bile production in the liver and decreased digestive enzymes can reduce the breakdown of foods in the gut, resulting in decomposition and a foul odour. Herbs like globe artichoke, dandelion and gentian root naturally promote acid production in the stomach and bile release from the liver. I prescribe these to my patients in supplement form with great success (exact dosages should be determined by a practitioner). Animal or plant-based digestive enzymes can also be taken when needed to keep your gut healthy and your breath fresh.

There are several things which are recommended in general to prevent bad breath. A big one is to drastically reduce your sugar intake. This can prevent and treat bad-breath-causing infections by not feeding the bacteria in your mouth or the yeast population in your digestive tract, both of which thrive on  the sweet stuff. I also suggest using a low-sugar toothpaste,  and rinsing your mouth with water after brushing.

Chew gum that contains xylitol rather than aspartame or sugar, as xylitol reduces bacteria in the mouth and protects against cavities. Daily sinus rinses using a neti pot can keep nasal passages clean and help wash away infection.

Oil pulling can also reduce the oral microbe population by cutting down on tartar and promoting healthy, infection-resistant gums. Forcefully swish one or two teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth and through the teeth for about 20 minutes (or as long as you can).The idea is that the oil attracts the fatty layer of the cell wall of microbes, allowing them to attach to the oil to pull them out of tissues or dissolving the cell wall and actually killing the microbes.

As per all health advice, oversight by a qualified healthcare professional such as a naturopathic doctor, is advised.

The Dentist Says:

There are many causes of halitosis, the clinical term for bad breath, but diet is an obvious place to look for a solution. Onions, garlic, spices and dairy products are common offenders. Garlic and onions have a strong odour but also contain compounds that get absorbed into the bloodstream and can be released through the lungs, creating a second wave of bad breath. Dairy contains amino acids that bacteria from the mouth feed on, which causes them to release a foul odour. Smoking is another common cause of halitosis because it diminishes the oxygen available in the mouth, creating a viable environment for bacteria-causing gum disease and periodontitis.

While oral hygiene isn’t always the cause, it can be the solution. That’s because bacteria accumulates easily on the teeth, soft tissue and tongue, causing inflammation, gingivitis, cavities and even periodontitis with bone loss, where pockets develop around the teeth and create a haven for bacteria that’s impossible to clean with home care.

Prevention is crucial, and good oral care means brushing your teeth for two or three minutes twice a day and flossing once a day. Mouthwash may temporarily mask bad breath, but it doesn’t help clean your mouth or correct the problem unless it’s an antibiotic or antifungal rinse prescribed by a dentist. Mouthwashes that contain alcohol are a no-no because they can exacerbate dry mouth – another cause of halitosis.

Saliva is very beneficial to oral heath, as it naturally cleans the mouth and has a buffering and antimicrobial effect. That’s why staying hydrated is also very important for fresh breath.

It’s important to discuss recurring bad breath with your dentist. If the source is gum disease or oral infections caused by yeast or other pathogens, your dentist will be able to treat these issues with proper care, including gingival curettage (a deep under-the-gum cleaning), antifungal mouth rinses and even surgical treatments. If the source is extra-oral, like gastric reflux or certain metabolic conditions, your dentist can guide you to a physician that will be able to care for your concerns. 

 • Many believe that it can be caused due to indigestion.

• Eating a lot of food containing garlic, onions and spices can cause temporary bad breath, which is often referred as morning breath.

• Excessive drinking and smoking can cause persistent bad breath.

• The ones afflicted by gum diseases and dental decay are on a higher risk of having bad breath.

• If you have healthy teeth and gums then it’s the collection of bacteria at the back of your tongue that is causing bad breath.

• Those who have chronic sinus infection or post-nasal drip are at a higher risk of having bad breath.

• Too much stress or lack of exercise and not drinking sufficient amount of water during the day also contributes to bad breath.

What can you do to stop it?

What you can do is try and refrain from eating smelly, sugary, and spicy food too often. Moreover, you should stop smoking, drink less alcohol and caffeine. Drinking at least 2 litres of water per day has proven to be beneficial in stopping bad breath problems. Along with all that, do the following to improve your overall oral hygiene:

• Go to your dentist for regular dental check-ups.

• Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.

• Always use a non-alcoholic based mouthwash.

• Use a tongue scraper to remove the collection of bacteria from the back of the tongue.

• Try and identify the area that’s causing the bad breath. For instance, is it your throat, tonsils, sinuses, etc? You need to identify and take adequate measures to solve the issue.

• If it is not possible for you to clean your teeth after every meal then chewing sugar-free gum can solve the problem, but it only works for a short span of time.

• You can keep a mouth-freshener spray with you all the time to temporarily mask the problem.

However, if the bad breath persists even after trying all the above measures then you must consult a dentist for further treatment. A dentist usually does the following:

• He would firstly discuss your eating habits, health history, special circumstances, and other preliminary information.

• He may test concentration of sulfides in the breath using a clinical device called the halimeter.

• Assess your specific area of problem.

• The dentist will possibly test with bad breath detective kit.

• He would than train you in using the oxygenating formulas that are to be applied on your particular area of problem.

• At last he would re-test with the halimiter or bad breath detective, which will show you the reduction in your VSC levels.

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