Bad breath or halitosis is a sign of poor oral hygiene. When an individual fails to clean his teeth after eating, the bacteria feed (putrefies) upon the food particles stuck between the teeth, and emits sulfur compounds leading to bad breath. Further, the bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease, thus exacerbating the bad breath condition. Bad breath can also sometimes results from a condition called dry mouth or xerostomia, which occurs when flow of saliva is reduced.
Eating garlic, onions, broccoli or cauliflower may produce a strong and disagreeable odor in a person’s breath besides leaving bad taste in the mouth. These foods contain foul-smelling sulfur compounds that are released in an individual’s mouth, bloodstream and lungs. Even brushing and gargling will not eliminate the food-induced bad breath until the food is completely metabolized. However, this kind of bad breath is not a health threat, although it might be embarrassing when socializing. On the other hand, persistent bad breath, also known as halitosis, may indicate an underlying and undiagnosed health problem.
If a person suffers from chronic bad breath despite regular and proper brushing, flossing and tongue scraping, then the most probable reason could be the toxic build-up in the body. If the body is unable to eliminate the toxic wastes through regular bowels, it will then try to expel at least some of the wastes through the breath.
Bacteria decomposes the leftover food in the mouth and release volatile sulfur compounds, including Hydrogen Sulfide (rotten egg smell), Methyl Mercaptan (feces smell), and Skatole (feces smell). These compounds are the major components of bad breath in most of the persons.
The bacteria also release Cadaverine and Diamino acid, two foul-smelling compounds responsible for rancid meat smell, along with other organic acids, such as Acetic, propionic, butyric, and isovaleric acids that cause goaty smell.
Bad breath can be detected by instruments, such as Gas Chromatograph or Portable sulfide meter (Halimeter).
Causes of Bad Breath:
There are many causes for chronic bad breath, and most of them are due to poor and improper diet resulting in a weak digestive system. The answers to the question “What causes bad breath,” are as follows:
- Infections such as sinusitis and tonsillitis, which causes mucus formation and postnatal drips
- Decaying teeth and mercury filling
- Infection of the root canal
- Repeated intake of antibiotics, which kills the good bacteria and helps the growth of bad bacteria in the mouth
- Improper and poor diet
- Diseases of kidney or liver
How to get rid of Bad Breath?
The treatment is aimed to eliminate the toxic wastes as much as possible from the body system. The following natural treatments, if followed regularly, can definitely get rid of the bad breath problem.
Take one teaspoon of liquid chlorophyll after meals. Rich sources of chlorophyll such as spirulina, alfalfa, and chlorella can also be taken as instructed on the product container.
For a fresh breath, take five drops of liquid parsley after every meal.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that prevents the development of foul bacteria in the mouth. Use xylitol based mouthwashes, toothpastes, and natural gums.
Probiotics are friendly live microorganisms, which when taken in an adequate amount may provide health benefits. Use a product that has more than four billion microorganisms. Mix it in water, swish it in the mouth and swallow.
5. Bitter herbs:
Use a product that contains bitter herbs, such as gentian, before every meal to improve the overall digestion.
To improve the absorption and breakdown of food, take a full-range enzyme with every meal. Persons with active gum disease may take 200mg of coenzyme Q10 daily.
7. Milk Thistle:
Scientifically known as Silybum marianum, milk thistle helps to detoxify the liver in chronically constipated persons. Take 200mg of a product that contains 70% to 80% of silymarin, twice daily.
Tea made from cooled rosemary and peppermint or water mixed with eucalyptus oil acts as an excellent mouthwash. Mouthwash can also be made from common salt by mixing it in 300ml of clean water.
Eat six to eight soaked prunes and a few soaked and dried figs during breakfast along with the water used for soaking. Eating these fruits regularly eliminates the problem of constipation and bad breath.
10. Fenugreek seeds:
Add a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to half of liter of water and boil it for fifteen minutes on a low heat. Strain the decoction and drink it twice a day.
Eating avocado daily reduces the intestinal decomposition and putrefaction, which are one of the main causes of bad breath or halitosis.
Unripe guava is rich in oxalic, tannic, phosphoric and malic acids in addition to manganese and calcium. Chewing unripe guava will stop bleeding in gum due to styptic effect.
A healthy diet is necessary to maintain a proper digestive system. To regain the fresh breath an individual should:
- eat raw or partially boiled vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, fruits and beans
- drink a glass of pure water every two waking hours to flush out the accumulated toxins
- eat parsley during meals. Parsley is rich in chlorophyll, which neutralizes the odor in lungs and bloodstream. Other sources of chlorophyll are watercress, green vegetables and alfalfa.
- eat Vitamin A rich orange or green vegetables, such as carrots, squash, spinach, kale and sweet potatoes
- consume plenty of Vitamin C rich citrus fruits for healthy gums
- eat live culture products, such as live yogurt (unsweetened) to enhance the digestion
The body should be regularly detoxified to get rid of bad breath. Go on a juice-only fast for three days to eliminate the undigested food. Juice made from fresh fruits, and vegetable may be consumed during the fast. Constipated persons may add two tablespoons of powdered flaxseed to the juice before drinking.
Select a remedy based on the symptoms. Take the remedy with 6x, 12x, 6C, or 30C potency twice daily for two weeks. If bad breath condition improves after two weeks, then stop taking the remedy, unless symptoms reappear.
Use Mercurius Solubilis when you have any or combination of the following symptoms:
- yellow coating on the tongue
- bad breath caused due to tooth decay
- excessive salivation
Take Nux Vomica (Strychnos nux vomica) when suffering from any or combination of the following symptoms:
- bad taste in mouth or offensive smell in breath after taking alcohol
- chronic constipation
Take Pulsatilla (Pulsatilla pratensis) when foul breath is caused due to excessive consumption of fatty food.
In order to improve the oral hygiene the following regime may be implemented:
- Brush after every meal and floss the teeth before going to bed. Flossing should not be neglected as it removes the food particles stuck between the teeth.
- Avoid using toothpastes containing artificial sweeteners and chemicals. Otherwise, make your own natural toothpaste by mixing hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
- Also avoid commercial mouthwashes that are full of chemicals. Instead make your own home made natural mouthwash using water, and rosemary, peppermint or eucalyptus oil.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a regular dental checkup.
Foods to avoid:
The following foods should be avoided as far as possible to maintain a healthy digestive system, which can mitigate the bad breath or halitosis problem:
- Mucus hinders the passage of waste matter through the intestines. Therefore, avoid eating mucus-forming foods, such as banana, dairy products, chocolate and refined flours.
- Reduce the consumption of red meat, processed food, and fried food as they take too much time to travel through the digestive system. These foods not only linger in the body for a long time but also cause halitosis and constipation.
- Avoid eating food rich in refined sugar as they cause tooth decay and gum disease. Cut down on hard candies or caramels especially, as they get stuck between the teeth and attract bad oral bacteria.
- During social events, it is better to completely avoid or at least reduce the consumption of strong and spicy foods, such as onions, garlic, cured meats, strong cheese and anchovies.
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