Archive for the ‘halitosis’ Category

Learn to Battle Your Sugar Addiction

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

1174350_90884706When you think of an addiction, you’re probably thinking of a life-ruining substance, but research shows that sugar addiction may cause the body to respond in the same ways it would when introduced a habit-forming drug. Maybe that’s why you can’t end a meal without a sweet treat or you routinely toss five sugar packets in your coffee each morning. Whatever your bad sugar habit may be, it can be a leading cause of bad breath.

Sugar and your oral health
Sugar is the mouth’s worst enemy. It acts as food for the anaerobic bacteria that live in the mouth and produce foul odors. Sugars are a form of fermentable carbohydrate, which are introduced to the digestion process in the oral cavity. This process creates acid and a lower pH in the mouth and works against the teeth’s enamel. What this means is that your sugar addiction may be causing halitosis and tooth decay. These issues will be more severe if you do not keep up brushing, flossing and rinsing.

Steps to minimizing your addiction to sugar
Sugar is one of the top bad breath foods, and it may be in a lot more things than you think. Instead of putting yourself in a situation where you have to give up all of your sugar habits, take it one step at a time. Following any sugary treat, make sure to drink water to help wash down any remnants left in the mouth that will cause halitosis or tooth decay.

Coffee
Whether you load your morning cup of Joe up with several packets of sugar or you1331114_30176503 regularly visit the local cafe to pick up a vanilla latte, this sugar intake can be deceiving. Since coffee is naturally bitter, you may not consider this a major part of your problem – but it is. Slowly train your palate to enjoy less sugar or densely sweetened creamer. After some time, you’ll actually start to enjoy the natural taste of coffee. If you still need a little something to perk up your coffee, try it with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. The vanilla taste may be enough to satisfy your craving.

Snack swap
Pay attention to the nutritional value of the snacks you typically consume. You may find that the yogurt you’re eating is advertised as a healthy snack, but it actually has loads of sugar – this may be why you’re so dependent on it. Take some time to look at the sugar content in other similar products and swap them out for something healthier. Better yet, munch on strawberries, an apple or grapes – these naturally sweet snacks are great for your overall and oral health.

The same goes with soda. Swap out your afternoon can of cola for an ice tea sweetened with honey or agave nectar.

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Ironically, Some Halitosis ‘Cures’ Cause Bad Breath

Monday, March 11th, 2013

1106110_60320901Bad breath isn’t an acute health problem – that is, it doesn’t happen suddenly or just once. (Unlike, say, a broken bone or chicken pox.) Instead, halitosis is a chronic condition, one that recurs and, for some people, lasts for years without going away at all. This regularity is what makes specialty breath freshening technology so important. Without alcohol-free mouthwashes, periotherapy rinses or oral care probiotics, it’d be vastly harder to keep oral odor at bay.

While non-specialty products either don’t work or have fleeting effects at best, a few products – many of which are ironically marketed as bad breath “cures” – go so far as to cause bad breath. Here are some of the worst offenders, listed in no particular order.

- Herbs. There’s a lot to be said for herbal remedies. After all, they’re where clinical and specialty treatments came from. Yet, there are two sides to that coin. As Irish stand-up comedian Dara O’Briain puts it, “we tested herbal medicines, and what worked became medicine.” His point, embedded in an extended bit on clinical quackery, is that things that sound too good to be true usually are, particularly if they’re marketed as an alternative treatment with a notably vague mechanism of action. Two good cases in point are cayenne pepper and garlic, both of which routinely get recommended as treatments for canker sores. While both are technically good for you, neither is proven to have any significant effect on oral sores or the odor they cause. And, by the way, cayenne pepper on a canker sore? Not a good idea, unless you want to spend 15 minutes shrieking in pain.

- Licorice root. As with the herbs listed above, licorice is sometimes touted as a treatment for odor-causing canker sores. However, after searching the medical literature on the subject, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) could only find one very small study demonstrating anything to that effect. Larger investigations of licorice root and canker sores just don’t exist, so stick to your specialty breath fresheners for now. (more…)

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Since All Diets Cause Bad Breath, Not Everyone is a Good Judge of Halitosis

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhy are some people so sensitive to halitosis, while others seem to be almost immune to the smell of bad breath? There are several reasons, including basic physical factors like a hypersensitive nose or the presence of an unfamiliar or especially strong scent. But, overall, we can chalk up insensitivity to bad breath to the fact that all diets, not matter how veggie-heavy, appear to cause halitosis.

This means that virtually everyone gets bad breath, which then makes it harder for their noses to pick up on the smell of other peoples’ oral funk.

It’s true — and a new study appearing in the European Journal of Nutrition has confirmed it. Author Jukka Meurman, of the University of Helsinki, began by considering the idea that certain diets are more likely to give you funky breath. After all, if specific foods like garlic or asparagus can give you halitosis, then why not whole dietary regimens?

However, Meurman found that there’s hardly one style of eating that causes oral odor. Instead, all diets seem to.

He did note that “fermentable carbohydrates…should be avoided in cases with bad breath,” since carbs may encourage bacteria to multiply. But overall, he could not point his finger at just one offending diet: “No controlled studies exist on the effect of dietary regimens on halitosis, which in effect is mostly due to putrescence in deep periodontal pockets or tonsillar crypts.”

He’s certainly right there. Most bad breath starts in the mouth as a result of gum disease, tonsil stones or a dry tongue.

Now, that’s not to say that food doesn’t cause bad breath. It does. Rather, Meurman found that all diets (instead a particular one) eventually lead to halitosis.

Consider a diet that’s dairy-heavy. Would you expect it to give you bad breath? (After all, certain cheeses are quite stinky, and milk seems to reliably lead to funky mouth odor.) Well, if you said yes, you’d be right: Dairy can quickly ferment in your mouth, leading to the production of volatile sulfur compounds, the molecules that give halitosis its nasty reek.

That doesn’t mean that milk is without its dental benefits. Not only does dairy contain calcium, a mineral needed for bone hardness, but it is also the breeding ground for Lactobacillus salivarius K12, the microbe used in specialty oral care probiotics to banish other, odor-causing bacteria.

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Get the Down-low on Carbonated Beverages and Oral Health

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

971007_78091126We all know that gulping down a tall glass of water can do wonders to our health, but sometimes H2O doesn’t satisfy your craving for something bubbly. Before you reach for your drink of choice, you may be surprised to find out that not all carbonated beverages are created equal – especially when it comes to the health of your mouth. Bad breath is often a nasty side effect of sipping on a can of soda, but your entire mouth may be taking a hit. Here are the best and worst carbonated beverages on the market and why you should skip it or grab it:

Sparkling water
Sometimes it isn’t the sugary taste you’re craving, but the bubbly sensation. Carbonated water is basically just that – fizzy water. However, the consumption of seltzer water doesn’t increase enamel erosion, and in fact the minerals in the water actually offer a protective coating on the teeth. Carbonated water can also help improve gastrointestinal problems, which often cause bad breath. These beverages can sometimes help digestion and make sure that food is moving through your system properly. If you’re going to sip on carbonated water, skip the flavors, as they are considered potentially erosive. 

Cola
Cola is one of the most acidic beverages on the market, most colas have a pH level close to vinegar. Not only will this erode your teeth, but it can cause major stomach issues. Cola is one of the top best-selling beverages on the market, but this beverage has countless bad effects on the entire body. A 12-ounce serving of cola contains an average of 39 grams of sugar and can wreak havoc in your mouth. The sticky syrup of cola can stick around in your mouth if you’re not washing it down with water, leading to bacteria accumulation, halitosis and tooth erosion.

“Tooth loss, periodontal disease, and gingivitis can be problems, especially with a high phosphorus intake, particularly from soft drinks. All kinds of bone problems can occur with prolonged calcium deficiency, which causes a decrease in bone mass,” according to Elson M. Haas’ “The Detox Diet: A How-To & When-To Guide for Cleansing the Body.”

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Battle Garlic Breath Easily

Friday, January 25th, 2013

602458_94754895Eating a clove of garlic a day has various health benefits. It has been shown to possibly assist with joint health and the thinning of blood, and contains antioxidants and increases the absorption of iron and zinc. The sulfuric compounds and phytonutrients in garlic have great powerful effects on the body; however, one of those effects is bad breath.

Halitosis – or bad breath – may be unsavory to many people, but it’s no reason to eliminate garlic from your diet. Simple fixes, like chomping on a sprig of parsley can quickly get rid of the bad breath followed by garlic. If you don’t have parsley nearby, there are other things that will help.

“The same sulfuric compounds in garlic that benefit your health circulate to the lungs and are exhaled with your breath, leaving you with dragon mouth for several hours,” Sheryl Barringer, Ph.D., a professor of food science and technology at Ohio State University told Women’s Health Magazine. “Research suggests that sipping milk before or during garlic eating also decreases the amount of odor coming out of your mouth.”

Drink up
Staying well hydrated is key in keeping your breath smelling fresh and clean, but there are several options to wash the mouth of the garlic aftertaste. Slurping down plenty of water is the best way to get rid of smelly breath because it washes down any excess food in the mouth and helps with saliva production.
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