- Oral Health
How to Eradicate Bad Breath
Sometimes Your Friends Won't Even Tell You
Most people know someone in their circle of friends who suffers from recurring bad breath. You tend to step back when they talk or avoid sitting next to them which is quite sad for them really. having the nerve to bring it up with them requires sensitivity and this is most likely why we tend to avoid it in the hope someone else will be the bearer of bad tidings. A lot of us, including me, don't feel comfortable with confrontation of this nature, however wouldn't we want someone to tell us if our breath or body odour was offensive? The answer is yes.
So, hypothetically speaking, how would you want to be told? In private most likely, and would we want suggestions to how to overcome this problem? well that would depend on the individual. Most of the time I believe we are aware of the freshness of our own breath and act accordingly. We brush, floss, gargle etc and if the problem seems to recur frequently then we might visit a dentist for a professional clean and to have our gums checked for gingivitis, and cavities attended to, but often the problem lies much deeper down than our mouth.
Think About What you Put Into Your Tummy
The Guts of the Problem
Yes the gut is an area often overlooked when dealing with bad breath. Bad breath can often be a sign of other health problems and these of course need to be looked at so I suggest visiting your GP and discuss the problem openly. Tests may need to be run but the good news is if there is something else major going on at least you will have the opportunity to do something about it now. The sooner the better.
Of course this hub is more about what to do when you have ruled everything else out. You have;
- Brushed, flossed and gargled regularly
- Visited your dentist for a thorough check up
- Visited the doctor for an assessment
Now it is time to assess your diet.
Top Reasons Why We EatClick thumbnail to view full-size
Dairy and meatClick thumbnail to view full-size
Why Do You Eat?
Why do you eat?
- To alleviate hunger
- To satisfy a craving
- For enjoyment
- Sometimes just because the clock says 'it is time to eat'
- For comfort
- To maintain a healthy body and help it work at its optimal best
Not all of these reasons are good just as not all are bad. We all know deep down that our main reason for eating should be number 7, followed by 1 and 3, not necessarily in that order, but too many of us eat primarily for a mixture of 2, 4, 5 and 6.
You Are What You Eat
You are what you eat!...Well not exactly. I am sure you do not act and look like a cow, sheep or fish. But I think there is some truth in this statement and I will talk about this a bit later.
A good doctor may already have discussed the benefits of eating a healthy balanced diet with you and perhaps even warned about eating too much onion/garlic and other pungent ingredients and that is good advice, however I can bet he/she did not mention cutting back or eliminating meat and dairy. I think the reluctance of people in the medical profession to urge clients to question their eating habits says a lot about how disconnected we have all become about the food we eat and why.
Stop And Think
What does your diet consist of?
12-14 hours to digest
Recently I discovered that meat takes between 12 and 15 hours to digest with red meat taking the longest as opposed to fruits and vegetables that travel quickly down the digestive path.
Fermenting meat is a contributing factor to gut health and can affect breath odor. Meat eating can adversely affect heart health as well.
Dairy is also a culprit of bad breath not to mention the mucus forming that is a result of consuming dairy that may be the cause of sinus and other congestive problems.
Cutting back or eliminating on these can have huge benefits to your health.
There are lots of other substitutes to meat and dairy that give you all the benefits and then some. Nuts grains and legumes are a fantastic source of protein and do not weigh the body down. The time it takes for meat to digest is very taxing on the bodies energy that could be used for sustaining health not causing poor health.
Dairy has been long promoted as vital to bone health and density, however calcium is found naturally in many plant foods such as kale, broccoli and Chinese cabbage. Many foods have added calcium such as some orange juice and cereals such as fortified oatmeal.
Vitamin D we get from the sun, however because we are constantly reminded to be sun smart many of us now struggle to receive vitamin D this way. Foods containing Vitamin D include egg yolks, sardines, tuna and mushrooms in fact more than the average daily requirement of vitamin D is in a small tin of pink salmon (source; http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/features/are-you-getting-enough-vitamin-d-calcium).
Experiment with other milks such as Almond, Soy and Rice Milk and a variety of non-dairy butters are available in the supermarket due to the changing dietary needs of consumers.
Meat in Excess
Good Health is Priceless
Bad breath is more than just a social problem it can signal that something is not right within your body. Perhaps it is merely that you need to take particular care to brush more regularly and thoroughly or that it points to a health issue in another are of your body. Knowledge is empowering and knowing how the body works, in this case, that it takes so long and uses so much energy to digest meat points to an area that may need attention if you want to be as healthy as possible. I am all for a healthy balanced diet but so many of us consume more protein by way of meat than is necessary along with over generous portions of dairy. If you have milk in coffee and tea, on cereal, butter on a sandwich for lunch in sauces and whipped potato and then enjoy ice-cream or custard and fruit for dessert, over the day your dairy intake can become excessive. Stop and think.
Read food labels and you will see just how many products have added milk or milk solids, often in food you would not imagine as needing milk. Knowledge is empowering. A diet with little or no meat and dairy can help you to eradicate bad breath and prevent more sinister problems.