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According to science, bad breath or halitosis occurs at the microbial level…
As a result of bacteria in the mouth breaking down lingering food particles in-between the teeth, gums, and tongue.
When this happens, sulfuric compounds are released, giving off a bad odor or in medical terms, halitosis.
And the ancient Indian medicinal wisdom–the Ayurveda--corroborates this argument…
Practitioners of Ayurveda believe that poor oral hygiene and poor digestive function are the primary causes of bad breath.
And it’s worse in the morning when you’ve just woken up.
You see, during sleep, the body is actually busy at work detoxifying, repairing, and regenerating tissues.
During this time, the mouth bacteria are also quite active. This is because saliva production slows down dramatically during sleep…
And since saliva plays a major role in cleaning the mouth and keeping pathogens from thriving, there’s always a buildup of bacteria during sleep.
But morning bad breath is completely normal for most people and can be reversed with simple morning oral hygiene practices like oil pulling.
Another cause of bad breath is mouth-breathing.
Chronically breathing through the mouth may lead to dry mouth by inhibiting saliva production. This, inevitably leads to bad breath…
Because if the mouth is overly dry, it loses its ability to effectively eliminate leftover food particles.
One Germany study showed that those who spend a lot of time in physical training are more likely to have cavities–which can cause bad breath.
The researchers concluded that the heavy mouth-breathing during exercise results in low saliva production.
You can avoid dry mouth by practicing conscious breathing right from the diaphragm through the nose, particularly during workout.
Stinky foods are also culprits for bad breath…
Common stinky foods like garlic and onions are infamous for producing foul breath.
Other culprits include certain spices and cruciferous veggies like cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. These foods are high in sulfur, which can produce an unpleasant smell.
When you eat these particular foods, the sulfuric compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream and then into the lungs, from where they can be exhaled way long after consuming them.
The good news is that you can fix this by chewing sugar-free gums after a particularly stinky meal. This stimulates the production of saliva to prevent foul mouth odors.
Smoking is yet another culprit that ranks high in the list…
It not only increases the amount of odor-producing compounds in the mouth and lungs, but it can also cause a dry mouth. This leads to lower saliva production, according to a 2004 review by researchers from Hong Kong.
And as it turns out, if not for any other reason, bad breath should be compelling enough to make you quit smoking.
And by the way, do you know that some medications can cause bad breath?
I thought you should know because drugs like some antihistamines, diuretics, anti-psychotics, and muscle relaxants can cause side effects that include dry mouth.
That, in turn, can reduce the amount of saliva your mouth produces, creating a conducive environment for mouth bacteria to flourish.
Unfortunately, you cannot abandon your medication regimen…
But you can clean your tongue with either a toothbrush or a tongue scraper.
According to the American Dental Association, your tongue harbors most of the bacteria that causes bad breath…and scraping it can halt bad breath, albeit temporarily.
What about sinus infection or cold?
The upside is that the mucus in your nose helps filter all the foreign particles that you may inhale from the environment.
And while this is a good thing, when that mucus starts building up in the back of your throat…
Those foreign particles eventually travel into your mouth, settle on the surface of your tongue, triggering bad breath. And it gets even worse if you happen to have a sore throat!
You can fix this problem by using a saline nasal wash to help clear your nasal passages. And if the problem persists, you know the popular doctrine: “See the doctor“.
This one will shock to the bone…
People who slash their carbohydrates intake have been known to report increased levels of halitosis.
In fact, when researchers from Yeshiva University compared subjects on a very low-carb diet with those on a low-fat diet, they found more people in the former group having bad breath than in the latter.
However, it should also be noted that the low-fat dieters also confessed to more burping…and unfortunately…uum…farting.
But if a low-carb diet is working for you, sugar-free gums and drinking more water will help you sort out the problem.
Cavities are a rather obvious culprit…or so I thought!
You’ve been warned that a build-up of plaque can erode your teeth, leaving you with cavities…
Food remnants can get trapped in those “holes” for longer than usual period of time because the cavities are hard clean by normal brushing.
The lingering food debris can lead to bad breath.
And yes, you’ll need filling as a solution to the problem…
In addition to observing proper oral hygiene habits such as brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping.
Furthermore, dental or orthodontic appliances like dentures and fixed bridges can be difficult to maintain…
And have been linked to higher amounts of plaque accumulation–which is why an effective cleaning regimen is critically important.
Ensure you clean them several times a day because they’re perfect magnets for lodging food particles.
Not to mention alcohol…
Which lingers in your mouth long past the last call.
A 2007 study by researchers from Israel found that drinking alcohol was linked to increased rates of halitosis…
And this was despite the fact that the subjects had fasted for 12 hours overnight and had also brushed their teeth in the morning.
The researchers concluded that, not only does booze dry out a person’s mouth, but that a certain odor is triggered when the body metabolizes alcohol.
You can easily fix this problem by sticking to a strict amount of alcohol and taking a glass of water between drinks.
This will not only help keep bad breath at bay, but also help control your alcohol intake by making you feel more full.
Heartburn or acid reflux has also been found to contribute to bad breath.
Notably, the overwhelming majority of halitosis cases are caused by the mouth bacteria…
But researchers also suspect that in a minority of people, bad breath is triggered by GI disorder like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD2), in which the contents of a person’s stomach jump back up to the esophagus.
A 2007 study published in the journal ‘Oral Diseases‘ found that bad breath was more prevalent in people with GERD than those with other digestive problems, possibly because the disease may damage the throat tissues.
You can pull around this problem by avoiding foods that may aggravate acid reflux, including spicy foods, alcohol, fruit juices, and coffee.
Eating foods that are rich in fiber also helps your digestion run well and prevent reflux.
Drinking water instead of a sugary drink will be easier on your stomach, besides washing away stinky bacteria.
Ever heard of strep throat?
This is a bacterial infection–not viral–and can cause bad breath.
Not only that, but other kinds of sinus infections can turn into bacterial ones that produce a smelly, pus-like type of mucus.
You can wash away bacteria lingering in your mouth by brushing your teeth at least twice daily, scraping your tongue, and gargling with water and other clinically recommended solutions after each meal.
Poor digestive health is also a part of the puzzle!
A healthy digestive system is crucial for optimal overall health.
There are trillions of good bacteria in your gut that influence many of your body functions, including the immune system.
Studies show that an estimated 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. The ratio of good and bad gut bacteria is a crucial indicator of your overall health condition.
Your gut should have a balance of somewhere near 85% good bacteria and 15% bad. An imbalance can predispose you to a horde of health problems that are more serious than bad breath and body odor.
Having less than optimal gut flora can make you vulnerable to health conditions associated with bad breath.
A fishy smell in your breath could suggest kidney problems, while a fruity-smelling breath may mean uncontrolled diabetes.
This article cannot be complete without roping in your compromised immune system.
At the core of overall good health is a well-functioning immune system.
Essentially, our immune system generates antibodies that protect the body from disease-causing pathogens.
A compromised immunity cannot effectively subdue bad bacteria in the mouth, leading to halitosis.
In a nutshell, there’s a strong correlation between the immune system and dental health. Endeavor to continually build your immunity with gentle exercise, good sleep, and other basic healthy lifestyle habits.
And for a bulletproof protection against bad breath and the embarrassment that comes with it…
Try The Ultimate Gum Solution.
Find it here: https://amzn.to/35QQ2sH
To your inviting oral breath!
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This article is an educational guide that provides general health information and doesn’t, therefore, substitute one-on-one consultation with your professional healthcare provider.