We’ve all had it but what is it and how can you stop it?
Halitosis or bad breath is a condition that usually happens randomly to most people in the morning. Also known as morning breath, but it can happen at any time of the day and is usually brought on by certain foods or alcohol consumption. Halitosis is often caused from a breakdown of bacteria or food particles in the mouth. These substances release sulfur gases known as volatile sulfur compounds that are perceived as bad breath. The tongue, especially the back of the tongue, is an area that can become a breeding ground for bacteria. However, bacteria and food debris can harbor anywhere… between teeth, under gums, and even in broken down fillings.
Most of us would typically try to prevent halitosis with mints or mouthwash. Unfortunately, this is the most ineffective method because it only masks the odor and does not treat the underlying cause. The best treatment is prevention. Start by brushing and flossing, you heard me right, flossing every day. The goal is to remove the bacteria and food particles lodged in the small crevices in your mouth. Additionally, scrape (do not brush) your tongue.
Proper hydration is also important because dehydration exacerbates the bad breath. Use alcohol-free, all natural mouth rinses, which are extremely effective in neutralizing the odors caused by foods like onions and garlic. If your bad breath is coming more from poor digestion, you may want to incorporate digestive enzymes with your meal. Probiotics are also helpful in repopulating the good bacteria in the gut. A natural solution is parsley which can be chewed after a meal to aid in digestion.
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