My friend Janine’s wild story had me laughing and cringing at the same time.
Newly single, Janine met a guy online and was looking forward to their first date. They talked on the phone and texted back and forth, and she felt like this could be a “love match.”
On the day of the date, Janine spent hours getting ready, picking out the perfect outfit, and sending me one selfie after the other for the up or down vote.
When she arrived at the restaurant and saw her date, Dave – she literally felt a flutter of excitement in her stomach. He was as handsome in person as he was in his profile photos.
BUT… the moment Dave opened his mouth, Janine could smell the overwhelming odor of his bad breath.
As they started talking and Dave leaned in closer, the smell became unbearable. Janine had to resist the urge to cover her nose and run away.
Janine subtly offered Dave a mint, but he declined. “How could he not take the hint.” Janine thought.
As the night wore on, it became clear that Dave’s bad breath was ruining what could have been a great date. Janine admitted she was relieved when the date was finally over.
Over coffee the next morning, I watched her delete Dave’s profile. It was a disappointing end to what could have been a perfect evening, but Janine knew that one thing she could not stand was constant bad breath.
Every one of us has been in a situation where we think we might have bad breath and start panicking about it. But worrying about bad breath is something that many people deal with regularly.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to ensure your mouth is happy and healthy. Keep reading to discover how to combat that nasty dragon breath for good.
What’s that Smell?
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is characterized by an unpleasant odor coming from the mouth, which can be embarrassing and socially isolating. There are many causes of bad breath, including gum disease, tooth decay, dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, and certain medical conditions.
Good, Better, Best Breath
You can take several steps to help eliminate bad breath. These include:
1. Brush and floss regularly: Good oral hygiene is the straightest root to avoiding bad breath. Brushing twice daily removes food particles from your mouth. Be sure to brush your tongue as well, as this can also harbor bacteria that contribute to bad breath.
2. Use mouthwash: Mouthwash helps kill bacteria and freshens breath. Look for an alcohol-free mouthwash that contains fluoride and antimicrobial ingredients.
3. Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated helps prevent dry mouth, which can contribute to bad breath. Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine, which can cause dehydration.
4. Chew gum or suck on mints: Chewing gum or sucking on mints can help stimulate saliva production, which can help wash away bacteria and freshen your breath. Look for sugar-free options to prevent tooth decay.
5. Avoid tobacco products: Smoking and using other tobacco products can cause bad breath, as well as other oral health problems. Quitting tobacco can improve your overall health and eliminate bad breath.
6. See your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent and treat gum disease, which can contribute to bad breath. Your dentist can also check for other oral health problems that may be causing your bad breath.
7. Probiotics: Taking the right daily probiotic strains can make a big difference.
The Link Between Probiotics & Fresh Breath
While several products on the market may help mask bad breath, taking the most effective probiotic strains daily may be one of the most effective ways to remedy bad breath.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that benefit human health. They’re commonly found in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, and probiotic supplements.
Probiotics work by balancing the gut microbiome, the collection of microorganisms inhabiting the human gastrointestinal tract. A healthy gut microbiome is key to optimal health because it plays a critical role in your digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune system function. It’s also linked to many other aspects of health, including oral health.
The link between your gut microbiome and oral health is well established. Studies have shown that gut microbiome changes can lead to oral microbiome changes, which can affect your oral health. (3) For example, an imbalance in the gut microbiome can cause an overgrowth of undesirable bacteria in the mouth, which can cause bad breath. Probiotics can help restore balance to the microbiome and help reduce the growth of oral bacteria, thereby helping to eliminate bad breath.
How Probiotics Can Help
One of the main ways that probiotics help eliminate bad breath is by reducing the number of odor-causing “bad” bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria produce volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that are partly responsible for the unpleasant odor associated with bad breath. Probiotics compete with these bacteria for resources and space in the mouth, reducing their numbers and the number of VSCs they produce. (4)
In addition to reducing the number of odor-causing bacteria, probiotics can also help increase the production of beneficial bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria produce enzymes that help break down food particles and prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can also contribute to bad breath. By helping to support the growth of these beneficial bacteria, probiotics can help improve oral health and reduce the risk of bad breath.
One study, for example, found that a probiotic containing Lactobacillus reuteri reduced the levels of VSCs in the mouth and improved breath odor in people with chronic bad breath. (1) Another study found that a probiotic supplement containing Bifidobacterium lactis reduced the levels of harmful bacteria in the mouth and improved oral health in people with gum disease. (2)
While probiotics can help eliminate bad breath, choosing the right probiotic product and using it correctly is essential. When it comes to oral health, not all probiotics are created equal, and some may be more effective than others at targeting specific types of bacteria in your mouth.
Lactobacillus reuteri and Bifidobacterium lactis have clinical support showing that consuming them can help eliminate bad breath. Stonehenge Health® Dynamic Biotics™ contains at least one billion colony-forming units of both of these crucial oral health strains.
Don’t let bad breath hold you back from doing the things you love. Consuming Dynamic Biotics™ daily can help you maintain a healthy gut and oral microbiome so you can live your best life.
1. Kang, M., Oh, J., Lee, H., Lim, H., Lee, S., & Yang, K. et al. (2011). Inhibitory effect of Lactobacillus reuteri on periodontopathic and cariogenic bacteria. The Journal Of Microbiology, 49(2), 193-199. doi: 10.1007/s12275-011-0252-9 l link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12275-011-0252-9
2. de Almeida Silva Levi YL, Ribeiro MC, Silva PHF, Silva GA, de Souza Salvador SL, de Souza SLS, Casarin R, Júnior ABN, Júnior MT, Palioto DB, Honório HM, Messora MR, Furlaneto FAC. Effects of oral administration of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis HN019 on the treatment of plaque-induced generalized gingivitis. Clin Oral Investig. 2023 Jan;27(1):387-398. doi: 10.1007/s00784-022-04744-y. Epub 2022 Oct 28. PMID: 36305963; PMCID: PMC9614197. | pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36305963/
3. Iwauchi M, Horigome A, Ishikawa K, Mikuni A, Nakano M, Xiao JZ, Odamaki T, Hironaka S. Relationship between oral and gut microbiota in elderly people. Immun Inflamm Dis. 2019 Sep;7(3):229-236. doi: 10.1002/iid3.266. Epub 2019 Jul 15. PMID: 31305026; PMCID: PMC6688080. | pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31305026/
4. Huang, N., Li, J., Qiao, X., Wu, Y., Liu, Y., Wu, C., & Li, L. (2022). Efficacy of probiotics in the management of halitosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open, 12(12), e060753. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-060753 l bmjopen.bmj.com/content/12/12/e060753