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Bad Breath: The Frustrating Effect on the Quality of Life

Bad breath. It can seriously interfere with your social, work, and family life. When you are too embarrassed to open your mouth, talk to people, or stand too close to someone, it can be frustrating, to say the least.

The good news is that you don’t have to live with bad breath forever. Once you understand the problem, you can address it naturally. As a gastrointestinal specialist and SIBO Naturopath, I see patients all the time with the same issue. So let’s talk about bad breath: what causes it and what can you do about it.

What Is Bad Breath

If you have bad breath, you are not alone. Bad breath or halitosis is a common problem. Over 80 million people in the US struggle with bad breath. That’s about a quarter of the population. Statistics are similar in other countries too (1, 2).

Bad breath can cause serious psychological distress and social issues. It is one of the most common reasons people seek dental care. Though lifestyle changes, home remedies, and improving oral care often resolve the issue, if you have persistent bad breath, you may need to look for underlying issues.

Causes of Bad Breath

Common causes of bad breath may include:

- Tobacco use.

- Certain foods, such as onion and garlic.

- Poor dental hygiene, including not flossing regularly or not brushing well, causing plaque buildup and gum disease.

- Dry mouth

- Certain medications, especially chemotherapy drugs, medications for angina, some tranquilizers, and even some supplements.

- Low carbohydrate diets, fasting, and crash diets that cause ketosis.

- Conditions affecting your mouth, throat, or nose, such as tonsil stones or sinus infections.

- Foreign body in the nasal cavity (common in children).

- Certain diseases, including metabolic diseases, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), liver failure, and certain cancers.

Rare but possible causes of bad breath include ketoacidosis in people with diabetes, bowel obstruction, bronchiectasis, and aspiration pneumonia.

Solutions for bad breath:

To prevent or reduce bad breath, I recommend the following:

- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, but ideally after each meal.

- Floss regularly to reduce the buildup of bacteria and plaques.

- If you wear dentures, a bridge, or a mouth guard, clean them regularly as recommended.

- Try tongue brushing with a tongue scraper.

- Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration and dry mouth.

- Avoid tobacco and alcohol.

- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet high in greens, vegetables, herbs, fruits, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meat, and lentils.

- Avoid onion, garlic, and spice food.

- Reduce sugary foods.

- Additionally, I recommend taking care of any cavities, gum problems, or other dental issues.

If none of the above solutions helps, and you are still dealing with bad breath, ypu may need to look for underlying issues. In my gastrointestinal, SIBO, and IBD (Crohn's and Ulcerative colitis) Naturopathic practice, I see patients with bad breath all the time. I often find that underlying microbiome imbalances, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), GERD, acid reflux, and other gut health issues are the culprit behind bad breath. It is possible to do some further testing and evaluation to uncover the root cause of your bad breath.

I can then recommend a SIBO natural treatment, Crohn's natural treatment, Ulcerative colitis natural treatment, or other appropriate natural treatment options depending on your underlying issue.

My Recommendation

I recommend following my tips if you want to improve your bad breath and your overall health. If you are looking for natural treatment options for digestive disorders from a Naturopath, I urge you to reach out and schedule a consultation call with me. As a gastrointestinal specialist and SIBO Naturopath, I specialize in Crohn's natural treatment, Ulcerative colitis natural treatment, SIBO natural treatment, leaky gut natural treatment, and many other digestive problems.


1. Bad Breath statistics. Breath Insitute. Link Here

2. Tungare S, Zafar N, Paranjpe AG. Halitosis. [Updated 2021 Aug 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Link Here


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