What’s causing my bad breath!?

bad breath

You’re just about to pucker up and give your partner a kiss when he makes a comment about your smelly bad breath! You’re offended by the remark, but in a way you’re also glad that he has highlighted this; the thought of subjecting those around you to your halitosis is mortifying, to say the least – whether you’re at work, in an important meeting, out with your friends, or cosying up to your loved one, it’s not pleasant for you or those around you if you’re breath is on the pungent side.

Bad breath can manifest from a number of systemic issues, both physical and oral.

It’s important to practise good dental hygiene, brushing 2-3 times a day, ideally after every meal, and flossing to remove food particles between your teeth once a day.  See your dentist regularly, at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning, and will be able to detect and treat periodontal disease or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odour. Your dentist can be instrumental in detecting illnesses that need to be better managed or that you might not be aware of.

Bad breath that doesn’t resolve after brushing and flossing can be a sign of another issue.  It could, for example, be a sign of an underlying health concern.  If you can’t get rid of your bad breath after brushing, chances are your teeth are not the actual problem. More often, the root cause of bad breath lies deeper – in your digestive system and gut.

If the balance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut is off, you may start to experience more than just digestive discomfort. Breath that smells less than fresh is a common symptom of dysbiosis – an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut, as well as yeast or candida in the gut. You may even notice that your bad breath gets worse when you’ve eaten too much sugar. That’s because the yeast, candida and bad bacteria feed on sugar and thrive when our diet is loaded with sweet stuff.

Furthermore, as we age, we can become deficient in stomach acid and enzymes. These substances are crucial to help kill pathogens trying to get into the body via the oral route and they are also important to ensure your food is digested and nutrients are absorbed properly, as well as helping in the elimination of wastes. If we’re not producing enough stomach acid and enzymes, smelly putrefactive and fermentative gases can build up in the stomach and gut, and if you remember what you learned in Physics at school, hot air rises – in this case, into the mouth.

There is also a link between smelly breath and constipation. The longer solid body wastes are retained in the bowel, the more likely endotoxic gases can build up and, as I mentioned above, hot air rises, and with it, the smell of rotting food. The smell can be particularly offensive if you eat red meat – as it is rotting in your gut, it produces the same gases that are produced when a dead body is decaying, including cadaverine and putrescine. It’s enough to turn you vegetarian, isn’t it?

My vegan and gluten-free, plant-based Digestive Enzyme tablets can help assist in ensuring you’re digesting your food properly, reducing the likelihood of offensive smelling gases building up. Because the Digestive Enzymes are so effective at making sure your food is properly digested, this also helps ensure proper transit time in the bowel, reducing the risk of constipation.

If you want a happy mouth, you need to have a happy gut!