Breath mints, mouthwash and chewing gum not solving your bad breath problem?
According to Dr. Lynn Carmichael, chief of the family medicine division at the University of Miami School of Medicine, most bad breath (halitosis) does not come from the mouth or lungs. It comes from the colon (large intestine).
Obviously, one should brush and floss one’s teeth to get rid of the bacteria that could lead to halitosis. (See a dentist to ensure you don’t have gum disease or your doctor to make sure you don’t have sinus infection in your mouth). While mouthwashes will provide temporary relief, they do not deal with what could be the bigger problem – your digestive system. Dr. Richard Sherman of Florida`s East Coast District Dental Society says that ”
Mouthwashes do kill bacteria. However, you have to be careful, because some bacteria belong in the mouth. If you kill all the bacteria, you might make your mouth an environment for overgrowth of fungus.”
Bad breath is also a sign of toxin overload. It would be a good idea to clean up your diet. Are you eating too much sugar, processed/junk foods, too much meat? Are you exposed to a lot of toxins in your food and your environment including cleaning chemicals. It might also be a good time to do lymphatic drainage detox massage to rid the body of toxin overload. Do you notice your diet gets worse when you eat too much sugar? You might have candida or parasites which contribute to bad breath. Various practitioners can help – see your naturopath/doctor/live blood analysis practitioner/colon hydrotherapist. Candida loves sugar! It would also be a good time to do a cleanse, take supplements including anti-candida or parasite supplements (if you have those conditions). In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a thickly coated tongue is a sign of digestive issues. Your TCM doctor/acupuncturist can help you too in the digestive department.
Digestive enzymes might also be a good idea – the health store can advise you on this (or ask your naturopath). There are enzymes to digest carbohydrates, protein and fats and I have even seen in health store colon enzymes or enzymes that assist to prevent yeast overgrowth. Those protein enzymes can help you digest meat if you are having problems with that (check your stools for undigested matter – it could indicate that you are not digesting protein well and may also benefit from taking apple cider vinegar in water or hydrochloric acid (in health store the capsule is called betaine hydrochloride) . Not enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach means undigested food will go into the intestines, putrefy and emit foul gas which rises up and causes bad breath.
You can also help your gut by consuming more probiotics and fermented foods (eg, yogurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, tempeh, miso, injera (Ethiopian spongy bread), etc. Consume more fiber – chia and flax seeds are great for the colon. Also high in fiber are psyllium, oat bran, apples, etc.
Using a tongue scraper in the morning is a good idea too. I got one from a local yoga instructor (Tomas Hicks) who taught a myofacial release class (he believes everyone should scrape their tongue).
Are you dehydrated? Stressed? Taking certain medications that cause dry mouth? Alcohol and caffeine can also do that. Dry mouth can lead to bad breath (that is why you might notice it more in the morning when you wake up). Drink more water. Drinking enough water helps on so many levels. Did you know that if the body is dehydrated, your body draws water from your blood?
According to http://www.cleansehelp.com “You likely have constipation (if you have bad breath). Your food has slow transit time, your bowels don’t move adequately and you are congested. The toxins that should be exiting your body are staying around for days, and your body is reabsorbing the garbage into your blood stream. You are likely feeling more tired than usual, lethargic, have acne breakouts, your brain feels fuzzy and your breath stinks really bad. Your stomach could even be distended and bloated with excess pounds of fecal matter!! Have you got the picture? Cut out meat and cheese from your diet for a period of time. They contain no fiber, promote constipation, and tend to putrefy (make a foul smell) if your bowels are not moving.”
Incidentally, body odor is often also the smell of a toxic colon, an odor that leaks out through the porous skin.
You may also have liver toxins.
If you are doing a cleanse you may experience temporary symptoms of bad breath as your body detoxifies. This will go away if due to that issue. I have noticed that in kundalini yoga classes when I have done the lymph detox kriya that it does cause a bit of a metallic taste in mouth from the toxins releasing – I was told that was normal and to drink more water to flush out the toxins.
Sulfur containing foods such as onions, garlic, broccoli produce a certain odor too. Other foods rich in sulfur, such as dairy and meat can also contribute to bad breath. Sugar contributes to halitosis.
Eat more green vegetables especially the chlorophyll laden ones. E.g. kale, parsley, cilantro. Supplements such as chlorella and spirulina are also high in chlorophyll. I have also seen liquid chlorella in the health store. Eat a healthy diet.
It might also be a good idea to do a colon cleanse and/or colon hydrotherapy (colonic). In Vancouver, I have been to Refresh Natural Health after a client recommended them and I am happy to pass on their name. Here is their link