Bad Breath (Halitosis)
If you've ever eaten garlic or onions - or stood next to someone who has -
you know that certain foods reliably produce a sour or strong odor on the
breath. These foods, usually ones that are pungent or spicy, contain
foul-smelling sulfur compounds that are released not just into the mouth
but into the bloodstream and the lungs as well. Even if you brush and
gargle, you'll continue to exhale the sulfur with every breath until the
food is fully metabolized, a process that can take up to twenty-four hours.
This kind of food-induced bad breath can sometimes be socially troubling
(especially if your companions have not eaten the same sulfur-producing
food that you have), but it is in no way a health threat. If you enjoy
eating spicy, strong food, complementary medicine offers some effective
ways to mask the temporarily offensive result.
Persistent bad breath, on the other hand, is medically known as halitosis
and is a symptom of an underlying problem. Many cases are warning signs of
insufficient oral hygiene. If you do not clean your teeth after eating,
bacteria will feed on the food particles left in your mouth and emit sulfur
as a digestive by-product. Eventually, these bacteria will cause tooth
decay andgum disease, disorders that, in turn, lead to even worse-smelling
If regular brushing and flossing don't improve chronic bad breath, it's
quite possible that you are suffering from a toxic body system. An improper
diet and a poorly functioning digestive system can lead to the accumulation
of toxins, which is reflected in bad breath. If you are constipated (as are
many people who follow poor diets) and cannot eliminate the poisons via
your bowels, the body may try to expel some of them every time you breathe
out. A cleansing program followed by dietary changes, should help get rid
of the toxins and, with them, the cause of bad breath.
Also, undetected infections of the throat such as tonsillitis, as well as
sinusitis can be the underlying cause of foul breath. These conditions may
be the result of food or environmental allergens causing mucus formation
and postnasal drip. Along these lines are chronic root canal infections, as
well as teeth and mercury fillings that are decaying. The repeated use of
antibiotics can wipe out the good flora in your mouth, which leads to the
overgrowth of bad bacteria that cause bad breath.
Smoking is another obvious method of poisoning your body, and the best way
to clear up the breath it causes is to give up the habit.
In rare cases, halitosis is a symptom of a serious disease. If the
suggestions listed here don't improve your breath, consult a holistic
dentist first and then a doctor, if necessary. It is possible that you have
a dental disorder or even a disease of the kidneys or liver. Take chronic
bad breath seriously, but do exercise some common sense. Our society places
an unnaturally high priority on eliminating body odors, and many dentists
have noted that otherwise healthy patients can become convinced their
breath is offensive, when in fact it is perfectly normal. If your close
friends and health professionals assure you that your breath is fine, it's
probably wisest to trust them.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Prescription for Natural Cures
James F. Balch
Super Prescription #1
- LifeSource Product
Take a teaspoonful of liquid chlorophyll after meals.
Chlorella, alfalfa, and sprulina are also rich sources.
Take as directed on the container.
Super Prescription #2 Xylitol
Use 4 to 12 grams of xylitol in natural gums, mints,
toothpastes, or as a mouth rinse. This natural
sweetener prevents the bacteria that cause bad breath
from sticking to the mucosa of your mouth and teeth.
Super Prescription #3 Parsley
Take 5 drops of liquid parsley extract after each meal
to freshen your breath.
Super Prescription #4
Probiotics / Dophilus
- LifeSource Product
Take a product containing at least 4 billion organisms.
Mix it into water, swish it in your mouth and swallow.
It contains friendly bacteria that prevent the build-up
of bacteria that cause bad breath, and it improves
digestive function and elimination.
Super Prescription #5
Enzymes – Super Enzymes
- LifeSource Product
Take a full-range enzyme with each meal to enhance the
breakdown and the absorption of food.
Super Prescription # 6 Bitter herbs
Take a digestion formula that contains bitter herbs,
such as gentian, to improve overall digestive function.
Take as directed on the container at beginning of each
Super Prescription #7
Milk Thistle / Silymarin
– LifeSource Product
If you are frequently constipated, you probably need to
detoxify your liver. Cleanse it with milk thistle ( Silybum marianum) extract. Choose a product
standardized to 70 to 80 percent silymarin, and take
200 to 250 mg twice a day.
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studies for Bad Breath
- Unpleasant odor on the breath
- Pungent or spicy foods
- Inadequate dental hygiene
- Poor diet
- Tooth decay, gum disease
- Chronic infection in the mouth, throat, or sinuses
- Decaying mercury fillings
- Flora imbalance in the mouth and the respiratory tract
- Liver failure, kidney disease
Base your meals on healthful sources of fiber. Whole grains, raw or lightly
cooked fruits and vegetables, beans, and raw nuts and seeds will all
improve your digestive system's ability to process food and expel toxins.
Drink a glass of clean water every two waking hours. You'll keep your
digestive system regular and help eliminate poisons.
If you go to a diner or old-fashioned restaurant, you may notice a sprig of
parsley accompanies your meal. The parsley is meant to be more than a
garnish, it's a traditional breath freshener that really works. Parsley is
high in chlorophyll, an agent that neutralizes odor in the bloodstream and
lungs. Other good sources of chlorophyll include green vegetables,
watercress, and alfalfa. If you know you're going to eat a type of food
that causes bad breath, you may want to incorporate some of these greens
into your meal.
Vitamins A and C are necessary for good dental health. For Vitamin A,
consume green or orange vegetables like carrots, kale, squash, sweet
potatoes, and spinach. Eat citrus fruits for Vitamin C. Cultured products,
especially live unsweetened yogurt, will encourage healthy bacteria to grow
in the intestines and will improve digestion.
Food to Avoid
- Avoid foods that take a long time to travel through the digestive system.
Red meat, friend food, and processed food all linger in the system and
cause booth constipation and halitosis.
- Mucus slows waste matter in its passage through the intestines. Cut down
on mucus-forming foods like dairy products, refined flours, chocolate, and
- Avoid foods that are high in refined sugar, which leads to tooth decay.
Be especially wary of sticky treats like caramels or hard candies, which
can lodge themselves between your teeth and attract oral bacteria.
- Foods that are most likely to cause temporary bad breath include garlic,
onions, strong cheese, cured meats, and anchovies. If the resulting odor
bothers you, limit or stop your consumption of these items.
- Brush after every meal, and floss your teeth before you go to bed. Many
people who are assiduous brushers neglect to floss, but this step is vital
to keep food particles out of the spaces between the teeth.
- Avoid kinds of toothpaste that are full of chemicals and artificial
sweeteners. Natural toothpaste is now available at many drugstores, as well
as at health food stores. You can also make your own with baking soda and
hydrogen peroxide. Just before you brush, combine the two ingredients until
they form a paste with a consistency that's to your liking. You should make
a fresh mixture each time you brush your teeth.
- Commercial mouthwashes are just as bad as most toothpaste. They irritate
the soft tissues of the mouth and can actually encourage bacterial growth.
Instead, use a homemade mouthwash of water and essential oils.
- Even if you keep your teeth scrupulously clean, see your holistic dentist
for regular check-ups. He or she can remove plaque and other buildups that
you may not be able to reach and will also check for any early signs of
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