Bad breath is a common, and embarrassing problem for many people. Also known as halitosis, or skunk breath, chronic bad breath cannot be addressed only with chewing gum; rather, it must be addressed through the root of the problem, your digestive system. Chronic bad breath is merely a side effect of a separate, deeper problem. While brushing your teeth and flossing regularly can provide a temporary remedy, treatment for halitosis begins with the foods and drinks you choose.
Causes and Risk Factors
Consuming foods that are highly processed and full of additives can affect your breath. A diet full of meat, dairy, refined sugars, and refined grains not only can directly cause halitosis, but also impact your colon and GI tract, which further affects your breath; foods are absorbed into your bloodstream and then transferred to the lungs, causing bad breath. This is why choosing acidic foods and drinks (i.e. coffee) makes you more likely to have halitosis. Acid-forming foods promote bacterial growth and gut infections that can cause bad breath.
When there is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria (as a result of food, even cosmetics), yeast and candida are more likely to cultivate and burden your body. Toxins
accumulation of chemicals, bad bacteria, and waste that can trigger halitosis.
The decreased flow of saliva in your mouth can also affect your breath. The production of saliva is a critical part of the digestive process in order to help cleanse the mouth and rinse away food particles, but if your colon and digestive tract is full of toxins, your body can not produce saliva at the rate you want it to. As such, odor-causing food particles and bacteria can accumulate in your mouth, causing bad breath.
But in attempting to mask and fight halitosis, many people are causing harm to themselves with the use of mouthwash. Many commercially sold mouthwashes contain alcohol, which has been shown to potentially cause throat cancer. Commercial mouthwashes may contain petroleum-based dyes and artificial sweeteners that may have a multitude of negative consequences.
In addition, saliva contains natural enzymes that encourage the production of antibodies that get rid of bad bacteria. However, using chemical-laced oral hygiene products eliminate those enzymes.
Switch to a mostly raw foods and vegan-vegetarian diet consisting mainly of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Green, cruciferous vegetables are full of fiber that aid in the detoxification process and the balance of your digestive system. Also, foods high in zinc, such as pumpkin seeds, can be antimicrobial.
Three natural breath fresheners are:
Chlorophyll-rich greens can help eradicate halitosis. Such greens include:
- Barley grass
- Wheat grass
Aromatic, herbal teas with warming herbs can help your digestive function. Such herbs include:
– Black Pepper
Cleansing the colon and your other eliminative channels can also help treat halitosis. Good colon-cleansing herbs that will evacuate the bowels of waste and detoxify your system include:
- Cascara Sagrada
- Senna Leaves
- Aloe Vera
Colonics and enemas are also great methods and procedures for cleansing the colon and rectum. Colonics can be performed every three to six months and enemas can be performed on a more regular basis, i.e. weekly or bi-weekly.
While poor dental hygiene that may cause gum disease, tooth decay, and plaque can contribute to halitosis, your gut is more often than not, the root cause. Nevertheless, brush your tongue with an all-natural toothpaste and floss between your teeth, as your tongue and tooth gaps can harbor excess bacteria.
Chewing on certain sticks and twigs, such as MISWAK, LICORICE, and NEEM can provide temporary relief for halitosis. These sticks and twigs are antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, and antibiotic.
PEELU tooth fibers (sold at health food stores) can help to remove plaque from the teeth (enamel). Use of these fibers may also help to freshen the breath and kill negative (or harmful) bacteria in the mouth.
The herbs GOLDENSEAL, MYRRH, and BAYBERRY can also help to remove plaque, kill negative bacteria, help heal oral herpes and mouth sores (which can be quite painful), and help gum bleeding diseases. Chewing on raw pieces of CARDAMOM, CLOVE, CINNAMON and/or NUTMEG can help freshen the breath and fight oral bacterial conditions.