Are There Secrets to Always Having Pleasant Breath?
Posted on 10/10/2019 by Lemond Hunter
|The stigma of foul-smelling breath has plagued humanity for millennia. The ancient Egyptians boiled spices, and herbs to make breath mints, ancient Greek and Roman poets and scholars concocted remedies for bad breath.
The Canterbury Tales prescribe a mixture of cardamom and licorice to prepare for a date. Still, humans wrestle with the problem of bad breath. Throughout history, the remedies have aimed, largely, to conceal bad breath. But are there ways to actually change the way our natural breath smells? Is it possible to always have pleasant breath?
Why We Have Bad BreathIn the past, it was thought that odorous food contributed to bad breath. While the smell of our food does linger in our mouths (think: garlic, anchovies, onions), these smells alone are NOT responsible for bad breath. But, the food we eat IS directly involved in the way our breath smells; particles of food left in our mouths are a feast for bacteria. Some of these bacteria are responsible for causing plaque to form on the teeth and, ultimately, tooth decay.
How Can We Combat Bad Breath?In addition to flossing and brushing daily (don't forget your tongue!) there are a few helpful suggestions to help keep breath fresh:
Harmful bacteria in our mouths feed not only on food, but on the fluids inside of our mouths, and even our oral tissue. This is why staying hydrated is so important. When we drink water, we are flushing away some of the fodder for these bacteria. Drink water throughout the day to combat bad breath. A dry mouth, is a stinky mouth.
Sometimes, bad breath can be a product of bacteria in the gut. As science advances, we learn more about the intricate balance of gut bacteria, and how they affect our daily lives. One of the effects of an unbalanced gut is bad breath. Many of the harmful bacteria in our guts (and mouths) give off noxious, sulfuric gasses, which are partially responsible for our bad breath.
Eating a healthy diet may be key to maintaining healthy breath. Quite recently, we've learned that a diet rich in probiotic bacteria can help to balance our bacterial ecosystems. Pickled, fermented foods are recommended, and a probiotic tablet can also be taken daily.
Reducing sugar intake is also a part of maintaining a healthy bacterial environment in your body, and pleasant breath. Bacteria love sugar, and multiply rapidly when fed this treat (think of how sugar feeds yeast). Cutting sugar out completely is not necessary. Apples contain sugar, contain polyphenols; these are compounds known to help break down sulfuric compounds in breath.
It is important to consult with our dentists if you are suffering chronic bad breath. Make sure to attend your twice-yearly cleanings, and call our office if you have concerns about your breath.