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Ayurveda and Bad Breath

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 sulphur-producing bacteria that live within the surface of the tongue and the throat. When these bacteria break down protein they release a sulphurous 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 sulphur compounds.

How to freshen your breath?

Ayurveda 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. Remember 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.

What you eat also affects the air you exhale. Certain foods, that already contain sulphur, 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 sulphur 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.