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Bad Breath? What That Could Reveal About Your Gut.

It is relatively normal to experience bad breath every now and then. Who hasn’t felt the need to run to the bathroom and brush their teeth before talking to or kissing their lover in the mouth first thing in the morning?  Bad breath typically occurs after sleep, or maybe after a meal containing pungent foods, like a sandwich or salad packed with raw onions. In most cases, the reason for bad breath can be quite obvious, and can be linked to the mouth, though there are many possible causes of bad breath. If you find that your bad breath is rather persistent, or you can’t seem to figure out where its coming from, try using one of the tips from down below.

Poor Hygiene 

Improper hygiene or poor self-care rituals in regards to the mouth can definitely cause bad breath. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes; also brush after every meal if you feel the need to. Its easy to skip over mouthwash and flossing but don’t! These are critical steps in maintaining proper oral hygiene and reducing the particles that attract germs to your mouth.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell how fresh your breath may be, sometimes there may be an off-putting taste in your mouth which can be a clear indication that your breath may smell. But also don’t be afraid to ask a friend or colleague for their honest opinion.

Checking your tongue can also be a helpful way to check the status of your breath, as well as the balance between good and bad bacteria within your gut. A thin, white layer is normal, but if you notice a thicker white or possibly yellow layer on your tongue it could definitely mean an imbalance of bacteria, which will not work out good for you.

Your mouth has a pH too, which is meant to be alkaline in order for the environment to be unfavorable to bad breath causing bacteria.  But if the pH level of your own gut is off, or unbalanced too, this can ultimately affect your breath as well.

Dehydration

Are you drinking enough water?  One of the first symptoms of dehydration, even if mild, is a dry mouth.  When your mouth is dry, dead cells are able to stick to your tongue and the insides of your mouth, bacteria then feeds on these dead cells which emits a foul odor in the process.  This is one reason why we may experience bad breath in the morning, due to our mouths being inactive and dry while we are sleeping.  If you find that your morning breath is still going strong even after you’ve brushed your teeth, be sure that you are drinking adequate amounts of water for your body weight and lifestyle. 

Toxic Overload

An accumulation of too many toxins in the body, without the proper elimination, is also linked to bad breath. In other words, your persistent bad breath can be a sign that you may need to reduce the toxicity of your body. Toxins can easily come from one’s lifestyle such as chemicals from a diet heavy in processed foods or even from cosmetics.  If your body is having a hard time eliminating these built up toxins it can take a toll on many of its functions. Bad breath is one of the common symptoms of toxic overload.

Gut Bacteria

The imbalance of your gut bacteria is linked to many ailments, and bad breath is surely one of them. A digestive system which is weak or poorly functioning, can cause discomforts that reach far beyond the actual digestive tract. In this case, your mouth is the first part of your digestive process, and if you cannot seem to rid your bad breath through proper mouth hygiene, it is time to start looking deeper down the line of digestion. Bad breath is one of the first signs of an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in our gut.  If you notice that your breath seems to get worse after eating certain foods, like sugary or processed foods, it is definitely possible for this to be the reason behind your bad breath.  The best solution in this case would be to incorporate more fiber in your diet to promote the growth of healthy bacteria, or try doing a cleanse to clean out your whole gut.  It also wouldn't hurt to add some antimicrobial herbs and teas into your diet, to assist in promoting the balance between good and bad bacteria. 

Quick Fixes

  • Oil Pulling — This is an ancient Ayurvedic technique holding or swooshing oil in your mouth for at least 5 but up to 20 minutes, ideally first thing in the morning, even before brushing. It is actually believed to help pull toxins out of your whole body and will also help to remove any dead cells that may have built up overnight.  The most commonly used oils for this process are coconut and sesame oils.
  • Tongue Scraping — This is simply the process of manually removing any white film or build up on the tongue.  There are various different tools used for tongue scraping (that can definitely be found in your local grocery store) but it also doesn't hurt to brush your tongue as you are brushing your teeth.
  • Baking Soda — Baking soda creates an alkaline pH in your mouth which happens to be an unfavorable environment for bad breath germs. Try brushing with baking soda after your toothpaste, or even using it in combination with your normal toothpaste.
  • Probiotics and Fermented Foods — These will support a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which in time surely freshen that breath.
  • Water — Staying hydrated is surely an important step in preventing bad breath.

Though these "quick fixes" may bring some relief to your bad breath, lifestyle changes are ultimately the only way to fully relieve this issue. Living a lifestyle which supports a healthy and balanced gut is the best way to prevent bad breath.

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