Bad breath can originate from several places in your body, but wherever it comes from, its all about bad bacteria. Follow these steps to locate the source:
1. Check Your Mouth First
Teeth or gums in bad condition, particularly teeth that need filling, are a breeding ground for some very odorous bacteria. If you have not had a dental check up for a while, or don’t floss regularly, this is the place to start your investigation.
2. Now Look Further Down
One of the most common causes of bad breath however is what is happening in your intestines. People with bad breath are often constipated. Generally speaking, you should have a bowel movement every day. If you don’t, take a look at some aspects of your diet:
– are you drinking enough pure water? (You need at least two litres every day)
– are you eating enough fibre? (You need 25 to 35g every day, from a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains.)
– Are you relaxed? Muscle tension from stress, particularly emotional stress, can affect the bowel muscles, and the production line that is our digestive process comes to a halt.
3. How To Check Your Bowel Transit Time
An effective way to check your bowel transit time is to eat some cooked beetroot, about 200 to 300g. The beetroot will colour your feces, but will not harm you. (In fact, this test is going to do you good; beetroot is full of vitamins and minerals!) Ideally, you will see the results within 12 to 24 hours. Less than 12 hours transit means your bowels are too fast, more than 24 hours to get through is too slow. (Keep in mind that beetroot will colour your urine temporarily red too.)
4. Make Sure Your Bowel Bacteria Are The Helpful Kind
Intestines are heavily populated with bacteria; some are good, actively helping the digestive process along. Some bacteria are not so helpful. In an unhealthy bowel, the conditions are right for bad bacteria and fungi can grow unchecked. If digested food remains too long in your digestive tract fermentation starts, creating some very unpleasant smells.
Naturopaths approach the treatment of bad bacteria in the intestines like you would approach an overgrown garden; where there are unwanted weeds all over the place, and the conditions are not right for the good plants to grow. But get rid of the weeds, and improve the soil and feeding, then the good plants will bloom. The right herbs and probiotic bacteria are the tools we use. See your accredited clinical naturopath for instructions on how to do a bowel cleanse effectively.
5. Your Tongue Can Tell You Lots
A final test: Have a look at your tongue in the mirror. Is it heavily coated with fur, particularly yellow fur? If so, it is probable that your metabolism is out of shape and your liver is struggling. This can contribute to bad breath too.
A cup of peppermint tea can help mask any bad breath, but if you have developed this unfortunate condition, its time to start investigating where it has come from. Just remember, its all about bad bacteria; you just need to locate where they are.