No one likes to come down with a case of bad breath. But the truth is that bad breath, or “halitosis” as it’s called in medical language, is an extremely common affliction. And, contrary to popular belief, bad breath isn’t just something that “happens” to a few unfortunate people.
There are all sorts of reasons that someone can suffer from halitosis. Some of these reasons are relatively benign and are easy enough to remedy.
Other causes of halitosis stem from something quite serious and are much more challenging to treat. Alcohol and tobacco, dehydration, sinus infections, certain foods, and milk intolerance can all contribute to a case of bad breath.
7 ways to ward off bad breath
Following are seven more tricks you can try to head off bad breath before it even gets started…
It’s true. Probiotics aren’t just for digestion, they could help get rid of your bad breath too.
In one study that reviewed treatments for halitosis, probiotics were found to be beneficial for curing both periodontal disease and bad breath. Researchers found a strong relationship between bacteria and bad breath.
Good bacteria help to keep your stomach and intestines working efficiently. Food is broken down, nutrients are used throughout your body, and waste is removed.
When you’re overrun with bad bacteria, however, the good bacteria can’t help your body to function properly. Yeast overgrowth and fermentation can happen in your gut, causing bad breath further up the line.
2. Apple cider vinegar:
Your grandmother may have mentioned this one before. Apple cider vinegar is a traditional folk remedy for bad breath. Take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before each meal. You can mix the vinegar in a glass of water if you like. Apple cider vinegar could help your digestive system.
3. Baking soda:
Baking soda is considered a great way to keep bacteria in check in your mouth. Put some on a toothbrush and clean your teeth and tongue.
Baking soda is alkaline and could help to reduce the acidity in your mouth. The more acidic the conditions in your mouth, the more likely harmful bacteria will thrive.
4. Salt water:
You can help clean out your sinuses and clear up infection by gargling with salt and water. A salt and water mixture can also help eliminate odor-causing bacteria around the tonsils and the back of the throat.
Gargling with this simple solution could also help to rid your mouth of mucus and food particles that can feed chronic, low-grade infections.
5. Anise seed:
Anise seed is another folk remedy that has been used for centuries to freshen breath. Anise has a distinctive licorice flavor and pleasant licorice smell.
Anise appears to have a natural ability to kill the bacteria that causes odor. Cardamom, dill, or fennel seeds are all also good choices with similar odor controlling benefits.
6. A tooth cleaning:
When it comes to dental health, make sure you go for regular check-ups. A dental hygienist can remove plaque before it builds up a layer of tartar that can harbor odor-causing bacteria.
Vitamin deficiencies, especially vitamin C and niacin (B3), can lead to gum diseases and tooth decay so make sure you are getting enough of them in your daily.
Foods rich in vitamin C include…
- dark leafy greens
- bell peppers
- citrus fruits
Foods rich in niacin, or vitamin B3 include…
- yeast extract
Keep an eye on your vitamin B6 levels, too. Vitamin B6 is necessary for oral health and many people are deficient in B6 without realizing it. Sunflower seeds, pistachios. and tuna are all good sources of B6.
With these seven steps you can avoid suffering from “dragon breath” ever again.
Dr. Victor Marchione received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years.
Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and the NBC Today Show and is an editor at the popular Doctor's Health Press website.
Dr. Marchione has also served as Principal Investigator in at least a dozen clinical research projects relating to serious ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
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