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  • Breath That Could Kill a Camel

    camel.jpgby Vic Shayne, PhD

    Have you ever thought of uttering these words over candelight, wine and music, “Honey, I love you, but your breath could knock a camel off its feet.”

    Bad breath is a huge problem. Especially if you’re on the receiving end. Even more especially if you encounter a close-talker who loves cheese, coffee and herring and enjoys smoking too much and thinks that brushing his/her teeth is not really that necessary. I read an article that stated, “If you are not sure if your breath smells bad or not, ask a good friend to let you know.” I can’t disagree more. It would be better to ask someone you don’t like. Why do that to a friend? What kind of friend would that make you?
    Bad breath is a big problem that few people want to talk about. Although it can’t kill you, it can kill a relationship pretty fast.

    Most bad breath is curable. It’s the result of a lifestyle of eating certain foods that cause bad breath both locally and systemically. The medical community likes to blame it on bacteria and poor dental hygiene, but this is too simple an answer for a complex problem. You can have perfect teeth and gums but eat enough dairy products to make your sinuses stuffy and drip into your mouth. One thing has nothing to do with the other.

    Here are seven of the worst foods to eat if you’re prone to bad breath.

    1. Cheese
    2. Garlic
    3. Onions
    4. Fishy fish
    5. Excessive meat eating
    6. Coffee
    7. Eggs

    There are other factors to think about as well. Certain medications can cause bad breath. So can certain illnesses. Sinus drip is often a contributing factor, but if you look deeper, you’ll find that sinus drip is the result of eating foods that affect the sinuses which, in turn, secrete mucus that is swallowed. Sinus mucus makes for bad breath.

    If you have chronic bad breath, the best thing to do would be to go on a special alkaline diet.  You need to get the offending foods out of your system and clear out your sinuses. Also, of course, if you smoke, you have to stop.

    One group of researchers have shown that yogurt can combat bad breath:

    A new study suggests that a daily dose of yogurt may keep your breath fresh and fend off offensive odors.

    Researchers found that eating 6 ounces of yogurt a day reduced levels of odor-causing compounds, such as hydrogen sulfide, in the mouth.

    They say the results suggest that the active bacteria in yogurt, specifically Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, may have a beneficial effect on odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.

    During the study, the participants ate about 3 ounces of yogurt twice daily for six weeks.

    At the end of the study, researchers took samples again. They found that odiferous compounds, namely hydrogen sulfide, decreased in 80% of participants.

    In addition, levels of plaque and the gum disease gingivitis were also significantly lower among yogurt eaters. (webmd)

    Other foods that help include apples, carrots, mints and parsley.

    Many ethnic foods have been blamed for causing bad breath, but if we look a little closer, we find that the common denominator is garlic. Garlic is one of the most healthful foods you can eat, but if you cherish your love life, eat it when you’re not going to be in intimate quarters.


    1. webmd, Jennifer Warner, Yogurt: An Antidote to Bad Breath? Active Ingredient in Yogurt May Fight Bad Breath
      WebMD Medical News, Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD
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