Bad breath is a sensitive subject, even though 95% of us suffer from it at some time in our lives, and one in four adults struggle with unpleasant odor on a regular basis. Chronic bad breath can hugely affect our self-esteem, daily life and relationships. It is also one of the main reasons that put us off from kissing!
Take a gulp
Dehydration is one of the most common reasons of bad breath. If you are one of those people, who survive on coffee and forget about topping up their water bottle you are most likely to develop bad breath during the day.
“Our saliva is a natural antiseptic and it plays a crucial role in breaking down food particles trapped within dental crevices, protecting teeth from bacterial decay. However, in order for your body to produce enough of it, you must be drinking plenty of water throughout the day, otherwise microbes in our mouth will feed on food pieces and release by-products, causing odor at the same time” explains Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.
Sometimes, bad breath could be coming from your gut. If your digestive tract is sluggish and you suffer from bowel problems you are more prone to ‘”morning breath.
“An imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut as well as an excess of gas in your body can cause an unpleasant odor. To nip the problem in the bud take probiotics regularly, that will directly target harmful bacteria. Try Pro-Ven’s 25 Billion (Boots, £13.95), which contains four different strains of bacteria” recommends Adrienne Benjamin, Nutritonist at Pro-Ven Probiotics (www.provenprobiotics.com).
A spoonful of yoghurt a day…
“One study has shown that daily natural yoghurt consumption decreased hydrogen sulphide (unpleasant odours) on tongues and air inside mouths by 80%. This effect lasted up to 6 weeks after eating the yoghurt” explains Lily Soutter, Nutritionist and weight loss expert, www.lilysoutternutrition.com.
Green tea is probably one of the healthiest beverages on the planet! “It contains a wealth of antioxidants that boost metabolism and amino acid L-theanine, which has relaxing effect” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar (www.marilynglenville.com).
But did you know that it can also help fight bad breath? It’s all thanks to high levels of polyphenols as they can prevents tooth decay and destroy a number of nasty compounds in the mouth.
Carrots and celery can help scrape out the plague build-ups that can cause bad breath. “Apart from being nutritious and healthy, these crunchy foods can also boost production of saliva, which fights bacteria” says Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at www.superfood.uk the online shopping destination for all things health and wellbeing.
Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals can leave you with ‘hunger breath’. “Not eating reduces the saliva in your mouth, and a dry mouth is exactly what bacteria need to multiply. When they do, they release hydrogen sulphide which results in bad breath” says Lily.
Oral bacterias bind to proteins and metabolize them into sulphur gas, which most of us describe as rotten egg scent. Cassandra explains “Zinc is a mineral that can aid in the neutralisation of harmful germs and reduce concentrated sulphur gases. Take Nature’s Plus Dyno- Mins Zinc (www.revital.co.uk, £13.90)”.