The Key to Treating Chronic Bad Breath
Today, I’m here to talk about bad breath, a very sensitive subject of health and wellness. Also known as halitosis, bad breath is estimated to affect up to 50 percent of the population, with varying degrees of severity.
Bad breath does not only affect the sufferer, but also those around them. Some go through their daily life completely unaware of this problem, unless they are told directly by people in their social circles. This is a source of discomfort and can be very embarrassing.
If you or someone you love has chronic bad breath, don’t worry. Treating bad breath starts with recognizing the fact that conventional bad breath remedies, like mouthwash, can only do so much – and you must turn to your food and lifestyle to completely address this condition.
The Problem with Mouthwashes
Many mouthwashes today contain sodium chlorite, also referred to as chlorine dioxide. Although they claim to freshen you breath for up to six hours, an independent study shows that sodium chlorite can only do so for anywhere from four to 42 minutes. While these mouth rinses focus on altering the chemical composition of the rancid gases, they do nothing to stop the bacteria causing bad breath.
There are a number of products, like SmartMouth, that contain sodium chlorite mixed with zinc chloride. The zinc ions prevent bacteria from producing gas by blocking their amino-acid receptor sites. Another product called Biotene uses two enzymes that break down biofilm and balance the bacteriapopulation in your mouth .
While they may seem to eliminate bad breath, these bad breath cures work only for a short period of time and will not eliminate odor-causing microbes.
A better option would be to use essential oils…
A better option would be to use essential oils like thyme, peppermint, wintergreen, and eucalyptus. Several studies, including one from the University of Rochester Eastman Dental Center, New York, has found that these natural solutions reduce inflammation and plaque that may cause bad breath.
Another study, published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, reported that using an essential oil mouthwash was able to reduce the presence of Streptococcus mutans, a strain that causes dental carries, by 75 percent. These oils were also able to prevent bad breath for up to three hours by eliminating odor-producing germs in the mouth.
Another natural technique that can promote oral health is oil pulling. This ancient Ayurvedic Indian tradition is done by swishing oil in your mouth, “pulling” it between your teeth for 20 to 30 minutes. This practice is said to kill pathogenic bacteria, promote optimal oral hygiene, and detoxify your system. If you decide to try this, I suggest using coconut oil.
Here lies another dilemma, however. As with commercial mouth rinses, natural oils only work temporarily and will not address the real cause of bad breath.
Simply put, there really is no shortcut to treating this condition. You must first learn what causes bad breath for it to completely disappear.
Poor Oral Health and Microbial Metabolism in Your Mouth
In most circumstances, halitosis stems from odor-inducing microbes that reside in between your teeth and gums, and on your tongue. It can also be caused by bacteria linked to gum disease.
Gum disease comes in two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. If not treated immediately, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, which literally means “inflammation around the teeth.” Both types involve varying degrees of inflammation. Roughly 10 percent of the population has severe gum disease with accompanied halitosis.
Gum disease-induced bad breath can result in the following:
- People who have gum disease often have space in between their teeth and gums, where food can get stuck, leading to the proliferation of bacteria.
- In severe cases, individuals experience more blood loss due to bleeding gums. Bad breath can surface from decomposing blood.
It is very important to follow proper oral hygiene practices to prevent bacteria from building up in your mouth. Later, I shall discuss in detail some natural methods that will help promote oral health and keep odor-promoting microbes from spreading in your mouth.
Certain Lifestyle Habits Linked to Bad Breath
Other than being an effect of poor oral hygiene, bad breath can also occur as a consequence of certain things you do. For instance, taking drugs exposes you to a wide number of synthetic, chemical compounds, which are likely linked to a wide variety of side effects, including dry mouth.
It is important not to confuse dry mouth with bad breath. Referred to as xerostomia, dry mouth occurs when your saliva production is inhibited. According to one study published in
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