3 Causes of Bad Breath
By: Brandi Wagner, RHN
1 May, 2017 by
3 Causes of Bad Breath
Sun Chlorella USA

Although we don't like to admit or talk about it, it's possible to have reoccurring bad breath (also known as halitosis) despite having impeccable dental hygiene. You rinse with mouthwash, floss twice a day and brush your teeth and tongue after every meal. So why on earth do you still have bad breath despite taking care of your oral health and wellness?

We all know that smoking, onions, garlic and coffee are common causes of bad breath and require us to either brush right away or stand further away from whoever we're talking to. But where do you turn if all of those factors have been eliminated?

There's no need to be embarrassed. What you don't know about the hidden causes of bad breath may surprise you - and here's what you can do about them.

1. Excess Animal Protein

Consuming animal protein in excess from dairy products and meat can be one of the common causes of bad breath.

As a society, we tend to go overboard with consuming this macronutrient because it's strongly marketed and associated with obtaining a more lean and muscular body. But animal protein is acidifying, and too much acidity promotes the growth of bad bacteria in your digestive tract that causes bad breath.

The truth is, we also get protein from plant based foods such as quinoa, hemp, brown rice, nuts and seeds, greens, fruit, vegetables and algae. Consuming these foods each day allows us to more than meet our daily protein requirements without including animal products at every meal.

Solution: Swap your whey protein shake for a hemp shake after your workout or eat primarily vegetarian. If you love your meat, try to limit it to 3-4 times per week instead of every day.

Regularly taking chlorella tablets will also increase your daily consumption of bioavailable plant protein, while adding a large dose of breath-freshening chlorophyll to your diet. 

2. Sluggish Digestion 

Another one of the frequent causes of bad breath is slow digestion. If flossing, brushing and mouth-washing aren't doing it, it's a good idea to check in with your gut. Your mouth is part of your digestive system, so it only makes sense that bad breath can surface from the inside out when you have undigested food (which will attract odor causing bacteria) sitting in your digestive tract.[1]

Poor digestion is frequently caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut which has resulted from a diet high in refined sugar and processed foods and stress. This bacteria can also live in your mouth.

A healthy digestive system will be eliminating daily, up to three times a day. Healthy bowel movements should be easy to pass and look like brown bananas. You should not feel bloated or tired after meals.

Solution: If you are frequently bloated or your poop is not up to par, it will help to begin replacing processed foods and sugar with high fiber, whole foods. Taking a probiotic dietary supplement to rebalance the healthy bacteria in your gut is also recommended to help get your digestion back on track and eliminate odor-causing bad bacteria.

3. Low Stomach Acid 

If you are experiencing acid reflux and have noticed a change in your breath for the worst, your body may not be producing enough stomach acid. Stomach acid is needed to digest food, kill off harmful pathogens and help you absorb crucial natural vitamins and minerals. Without it, bacteria thrive and nutrient deficiencies surface.

Stomach acid can be depleted by stress, a diet high in processed foods and inflammatory bowel diseases. If the acid reflux is persistent, you may have a bacterial infection, such as H. pylori.

Solution: See a healthcare practitioner to thoroughly examine and determine the root cause of the symptoms.

You may benefit from taking a plant-based digestive enzyme such as bromelain (from pineapples) or papain (from papaya). Taking an HCl test can also give helpful insight to the current state of your digestion.Taking good care of your internal health and wellness is just as important as taking care of your oral health.Here are the takeaway points to achieve fresh breath:
- Eat a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods
- Incorporate chlorophyll in your diet through algae, such as chlorella.
- Limit animal products and refined sugar
- Pay attention to your digestion and take a probiotic supplement to keep things moving smoothly
- Take a plant-based digestive enzyme such as bromelain or papain if you suspect your stomach acid is low
- See a healthcare practitioner if you have recurring acid reflux to determine the root cause
- Do the HCl test to see if your body is under producing stomach acid

About Brandi Wagner, RHN
Brandi Wagner is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist from Vancouver, B.C. Experiencing her own health challenges at a young age led her to become passionate about educating on the healing properties of food, and how to achieve hormone balance, clear skin and sustainable weight loss naturally. In her spare time you'll find Brandi writing in her blog and hanging out with her teacup chihuahua, Coconut.

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[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21673571?dopt=Abstract 

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