Before we talk about probiotics for bad breath, picture this scenario in your head — you’ve just had an amazing first date with the girl or guy of your dreams and its’ nearing that special time of the night. After that delicious meal at your favorite fancy restaurant, you both get ready to part ways.
Butterflies are currently flying up a storm in your stomach. As you look into your partner’s eyes, both of you feel the love in the air. Slowly, you begin to lean in for that sweet kiss. But before your lips can even touch, your partner suddenly recoils and awkwardly swerves their head.
Ouch. That certainly wasn’t the magical ending you envisioned. Curious enough, you decide to do a quick breath test once your date leaves the scene. Without another moment’s pause, your heart drops. Didn’t you already take five breath mints after eating that pasta? How come your breath still smells so bad? With a defeated head, you get ready to kiss your prospects of getting a relationship goodbye.
But not so fast — there is a reason why your breath smells bad, and it might not be what you think. The even better news is that there’s a simple solution for you to get rid of that smell for good so that you can enjoy your happily ever after and then some. Without further ado, let’s explore what the ultimate solution for bad breath is all about — the power of probiotics.
The Cause of Bad Breath
One of the most obvious causes of bad breath is poor hygiene and not taking the time to maintain those pearly whites. However, if you properly brush two times a day, take mouthwash, eat breath mints, and even floss, then the cause of your bad breath probably doesn’t have much to do with poor hygiene.
Instead, you might suffer from a chronic bad breath condition known as halitosis. The most common cause of this condition is the bacteria that lives on your tongue and among the crevices in your gums, such as Fusobacterium nucleatum. Not only are they living in your mouth rent-free, but they also contribute volatile sulfur compounds (VSC). Yes, these compounds sound exactly how they smell — not good. The exact names of the compounds come in varieties such as hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan. In other words, you can pretty much expect your breath to smell like rotten eggs or decaying cabbage if they’re lingering around.
Because they like to hide in harder-to-reach areas of your mouth, they start to breed in large populations. Actions such as constant brushing, flossing, and gum chewing can help kill off some of these annoyances. However, they only function as a temporary solution since the bacteria will quickly try to repopulate. Before you get demotivated however, there is a long term solution that can truly come to save the day — the magic of probiotics.
The Power of Probiotics
What exactly are probiotics, you might ask? They’re live bacteria and yeast. Don’t freak out too much just yet — you should know that they actually benefit your health! In fact, they are found in many of the foods that you regularly eat, such as fermented yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Specifically, they work to benefit your gut and digestive health by aiding the growth of healthy bacteria and keeping out more of the bad that causes your smelly breath.
Research has already proved that a diet rich in probiotics can improve your oral health. Instead of trying to wage war against the bad bacteria, studies from the University of Connecticut show that the best way to combat bad breath is by adding good bacteria to your mouth. In particular, the Streptococcus salivarius strain K12 has been found to lower bacterial growth that most commonly contributes to halitosis.
After giving test subjects some K12 probiotic lozenges, they found that after one week, almost 85 percent of all the participants had much-lowered levels of VSC. They even helped with other benefits beyond bad breath, such as gingivitis, dental decay, and other oral effects.
There are far more helpful probiotic strains than that one alone. In the war against bad breath, the strain Weissella cibaria proves to be a mighty warrior against the bad strain named Streptococcus mutans. Not only does it slow down their growth, but it also breaks down their biofilms, or the protective shield they have to guard themselves. In one such study that played out this battle, participants took some mouth rinse that contained the probiotic. The findings showed a 20.7 percent decrease in the plaque index score, or the tooth decay indicator.
Who knew that a whole battle could be waged out in that mouth of yours?
How to Use Probiotics to Cure Bad Breath
Now that you’re familiar with the power of probiotics and how you can use good bacteria to your advantage, it’s time to tackle your bad breath and regain that confidence in your life.
If you need some relief in an instant for that last-minute date or presentation you need to get done, the best thing you can do is to grab your toothbrush, some mouth rinse, and a stick of gum or some breath mints.
However, in the long term, the best solution is to eat some more probiotic-rich foods. Start adding foods like yogurt, miso, pickles, or kefir to your diet. If you’re not in love with any of those options, then you can grab a dental probiotic supplement instead. Whether you want some chewable tablets, drinks, lozenges, or even pastes, you can get your dose of good bacteria in almost any format you’d like.
Slowly but surely, your chronic bad breath should start going away! Say goodbye to halitosis and embarrassing awkward moments. If probiotics don’t end up working the way you want them to, then it may be time to consult your dental professional.
However, good hygiene and a dose of daily probiotics should get you all the way. Whether you’re talking with your boss or that person you have a huge crush on, there’s no doubt that your newfound confidence will lead you to success in all areas of your life.