Bad Breath And Your Diet
We live in a world where food dominates. We are on sensory overload because everywhere we turn there is another delectable delight to tantalize the taste buds. Sadly, the majority of the foods that we are seduced by on a daily basis do serious damage to our teeth. In our discussion that also applies to bad breath.
It is important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Unfortunately all day snacks and binging have replaced the concept of “three square meals a day.”
When indiscriminate snacking takes place oral hygiene goes out the window. If doubt that, begin a diary and document every single instance throughout the day when you place food or beverages in your mouth.
Weight loss programs teach their users to do this and it can be an eye-opening experience. Some of our habits are so ingrained that we don’t even realize what we are doing.
Someone brings a home made coffee cake to the office and it’s very easy to unconsciously grab “just a little sliver” back to your desk along with your. . .what?. . third or fourth cup of java of course.
You may be sitting in the grandstands at a little league ballgame when your partner waves the bag of popcorn under your nose. Well, it’s just a few kernels of popcorn, right?
Now, do you immediately run to the ladies room at the office and brush your teeth? Do you leap off the bleachers and sprint to the “facilities” and floss? Of course not, that would be ridiculous, right? If we all did that, there wouldn’t be a problem with dental disease or bad breath.
All the snacking that we do throughout the day not only contributes to bad breath but snack food is usually very high in carbohydrates and produces excessive amounts of sugar that cause tooth decay and promote bad breath. Harmful acids contained in soda pop attack the enamel on the teeth, yet we sip on sodas all day long.
And, if you thought that just sodas are the culprit, think again. A recent study claims that all those popular sports drinks we buy may not be such a good idea after all. They may re-hydrate the body, but they can cause irreversible damage to the dental enamel.
The study reports that fitness water, sports drinks, energy drinks and other non-cola beverages increase the risk of damage by anywhere from 3 to 11 times!
It should be mentioned that the findings are indicative of long term use. However, it appears that these drinks may not necessarily beneficial as a substitute for plain old-fashioned fresh water!
What About All Those Smelly Foods We Love?
You’ve heard the term, “you are what you eat” and it certainly applies when it comes to bad breath. Certain foods can give you bad breath.
Foods like garlic, onions, peppers and more all have a role in creating bad breath. When the food you eat is released into the bloodstream, the lungs will expel the odor.
While garlic and onions seem to top the list of bad breath offenders, there are other foods that are just as likely to produce bad breath. A few of these are:
Meats that are spicy like pepperoni, salami and pastrami
Cheese, especially soft cheeses
Practically every food that is high in protein is also a harbinger of bad breath. In fact practically one third of our diet is comprised of high protein foods.
This can be especially distressing if you are on a “high protein” diet. The obvious result is that when on a diet such as this bad breath will become significantly more annoying.
Short of totally eliminating protein from our diet (not recommended) what else can we do? At the risk of sounding redundant let’s review some of our earlier discussion.
Drink plenty of water. Dehydration certainly won’t help to improve the situation.
As difficult as it may be, clean your teeth and tongue thoroughly each time you eat anything that is high in protein.
Try and adjust your diet to contain less high protein foods and more high fiber foods. Foods high in fiber naturally produce some of those important enzymes we previously discussed.
Fiber will help fight constipation. Homeopathic healers report that regular bowel movements help to rid the body of toxins that contribute to bad breath.
Not only will changing to a higher fiber diet help your bad breath, it will also improve the overall health of your digestive system.
Instead of snacking on junk food, try chewing on fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the crunchy foods. Apples, pears, celery and carrots are good suggestions. They will aid in enzyme production and the natural chewing of the crunchy foods will stimulate the gums.
Consider adding that yogurt we mentioned as a permanent part of your daily food intake. Again, it will promote the production of the live bacteria you need.
Stimulate the flow of saliva to keep the mouth moist. Remember to avoid ineffectual commercial mouthwashes. Chewing on a clove or adding a drop of cinnamon or peppermint oil on your tongue will be much more productive.
If you are having post-nasal drip, use an over the counter medication to reduce the flow of the noxious drainage of the draining mucous.
There are numerous over the counter treatments for bad breath, the majority of which we have already reported to be ineffectual.
One type of product does appear to bear some scrutiny, however. Advertised as a “new innovation” in mouthwashes they are called Chlorine Dioxide Mouthwashes.
They claim to totally eliminate bad breath by attacking the sulfur compounds that cause bad breath rather than masking them as conventional mouthwashes do.
They make a provocative case however, when you understand that chlorine dioxide has been used in municipal water supplies for decades. Use your own judgment, but it might not hurt to give one a try.
Further research shows another fairly recent medical treatment for periodontal disease that may present some hope for remedying bad breath by treating the periodontal condition.
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