Prevent Bad Breath with Good Oral Hygiene

Bad breath, or halitosis, may not be a serious medical condition, but it can affect your personal comfort level. In most cases, it originates in the mouth and can be prevented right there. This potentially embarrassing problem is mainly caused by sulfur-producing bacteria that live within the surface of the tongue and the throat. When these bacteria break down protein, they release a sulfurous odor resulting in bad breath. Other causes include dry mouth, gum problems, poor oral hygiene, postnasal drip, certain medications, respiratory infections and particular foods. The following tips will help you take control over your exhalation.

Good oral hygiene is the most important factor in keeping your mouth and breath fresh. When you wake up in the morning, you probably notice a white coating on your tongue which is the result of ama, the toxic waste-product of digestion. The best tool for removing the coating is a silver tongue cleaner. Tongue cleaning has been part of the ancient ayurvedic tradition and is widely practiced in Eastern cultures. By removing the soft plaque from the tongue, especially the back of the tongue, you eliminate most of the bacteria that create the volatile sulfur compounds.

The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians also recommends brushing your teeth three times a day: just after waking up, before going to bed, and at least once during the day after you eat. Maharishi Ayurveda Ayurdent Herbal Toothpaste is an excellent oral cleanser. It strengthens the gums and teeth and helps protect against tooth decay. Don't neglect to floss thoroughly once a day to clean the area between the teeth. In addition to your at-home routine, visit your dentist regularly to check for cavities, and have your teeth cleaned periodically by a dental professional.

To freshen your breath during the day, chew on mint leaves, cloves or fennel seeds or try Maharishi Ayurveda's tasty Throat Ease lozenges.

What you eat also affects the air you exhale. Certain foods that already contain sulfur contribute to the unpleasant odor. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs where it is expelled. The odor will continue until the body eliminates the food. The major culprits are onion and garlic. Animal protein and foods processed with sulfur additives, such as beer, wine, soft drinks and many others, can also release odor. Try to avoid as many of these as you can, and clean your mouth after eating or drinking milk products, fish and meat. Additionally, smoking has been known to contribute to bad breath, discoloration of the teeth, and other mouth problems.

Dryness in the mouth means you don't have sufficient saliva flow which would help remove bacteria and debris from the mouth. Breathing through the mouth, drinking alcohol and certain medications can be behind the problem. Try to eliminate the causes and drink plenty of liquids.

Unpleasant breath can also result from a variety of respiratory problems such as upper respiratory allergies, infections of the respiratory tract (nose, throat, wind pipe, lungs), chronic bronchitis, chronic sinusitis and postnasal drip. If you are prone to one of these conditions, see an ayurvedic specialist who can recommend an ama-reducing diet to improve respiratory health and reduce mucus production. Constipation can influence your breath, so you need to make sure your elimination is regular. Just as for cleaning the tongue, morning is the best time for elimination as well. To promote daily elimination, drink plenty of water, eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, and add prunes and figs to your diet. If the problem persists, take Maharishi Ayurveda Herbal Cleanse to aid digestion and enable normal elimination.

Good oral hygiene is part of cleanliness, one of the behavioral rasayanas ayurveda recommends. By following these recommendations you can make yourself and others around you more comfortable. However, if your breath does not improve, see an ayurvedic physician who can get to the root of the problem.

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.