Halitosis | natural remedies for bad breath
Majid Ali, M.D.
Bad breath (halitosis) refers to unpleasant odor of exhaled breath. It is nearly always rooted in the pathology of the bowel. This statement might raise the eyebrows of some dentists. However, oral inflammatory and infectious disorders that cause halitosis are themselves rooted in the bowel. Gastroenterologists emphasize the roles of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux), gastritis, and stomach ulcers as the cause of halitosis. In my experience, these problems are also rooted in what populates the bowel (as well as what populates the mind).
At one time or the other, everyone develops bad breath—during fevers associated with dehydration and oral infections, for instance—but the problem is temporary and self-limiting. So, the element of chronicity is important in all considerations of halitosis.
What did my smell receptors teach me about halitosis? What do medical textbooks teach me about it? Most importantly, what did my patients teach me about halitosis? I answer the questions in this order and then offer guidelines about the prevention and treatment of halitosis.
What Did My Own Smell Receptors Teach Me About Halitosis?
Halitosis (bad breath) affects people in different degrees. In mild cases, it is a problem for others and not for the person who has it—family members and close friends recognize it while the individual is oblivious to it. In severe cases, the responses of family members and coworkers to the breath are unmistakable and create relentless stress. Measures to improve oral hygiene are helpful but usually inadequate unless the underlying bowel issues are effectively addressed.
What Do Medical Textbooks Teach Me About Halitosis?
As to the cause of halitosis, the medical textual information is well-summarized by the Wikipedia article on halitosis, which begins with the following sentence: “In most cases (85–90%), bad breath originates in the mouth itself.” I read the complete article and did not find a single reference to gut fermentation and excess mold toxin production. The article however did underscore one good point in the following words: “There has not been a single documented medical case of successfully cured chronic halitosis using any of the currently available mouthwashes.”
As to the diagnosis of halitosis, again medical texts have much to say about odor tests of dubious value, but say little, if anything of significance, about the proper tests to detect the presence of gut fermentation and excess mold toxin production. They describe:
* Home tests that detect substances such as polyamines and sulfur compounds on tongue swabs, and then question the value of such tests.
* Halimeter is a portable device for measuring the levels of sulfur emissions —hydrogen sulfide, to be specific—in the mouth air. However, the chemistry of this devices misses other common sulfides, such as mercaptan.
* OralChroma is another device designed to digitally measure molecular levels of hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and dimethyl sulfide. So, it does better in measuring what matters little.
* Organoleptic measurements—actual sniffing, in common language—and scoring of the level and type of the odor performed by specialists. They detect odor and assess odor on a six-point intensity scale.
The Best Diagnostic Test
So, what is the best test for bad breath? Common sense. The most effective way to know whether one’s breath is bad or not is to ask a trusted family member or friend. He or she can give the right answer.
What Did My Patients Teach Me About Halitosis?
Halitosis develops as a consequence of altered states of bowel ecology, especially the issues of gut fermentation, excessive mycotoxin production, leaky gut state—all caused by sugar and antibiotics abuse, undiagnosed and untreated mold allergy, food allergy and intolerance, parasitic infestations, and problems of indigestion and absorption. These factors cause: (1) excess acidity in the oral cavity and other corrosive fluids in the urinary and genital tracts; (2) increased free radical activity damage; (3) thickening of bodily fluids that interfere with optimal cellular breathing; and (4) biofilm formations over mucous linings. Biofilms are slimy layers of tangled proteins, rancid fats, and sticky sugars in which are embedded diverse microbial species that protect each other from natural and synthetic antibiotics.
Prevention and Treatment of Halitosis
Since the stage for the development of halitosis is set by elements in the bowel, blood, and liver, the integrative approach requires that all relevant factors be recognized and addressed effectively. This allows me to make an essential point about the integrative model: If you choose this path, it will be the beginning of your journey of becoming your own primary physician. You begin with clearing halitosis, you will stop “rusting” in all parts of your body—literally.
Most medical textbooks emphasize the role microbial growths on the tongue and recommend remedies for halitosis that include mouth washes, mouth sprays, mints, gums, and frequent tooth brushing. Methods used for tongue cleaning include scrapping and brushing. Such measures sometimes are useful. However, none of them address the issues of underlying bowel fermentation, leaky gut state, excessive mycotoxin production, and absorption of undigested foods.
I present my guidelines for oral hygiene and for restoring the health of the bowel and the liver in articles on this site. I also suggest the following: (1) Dr. Ali’s Oral Hygiene Protocol; (2) topical oral anesthetic gargles; and (3) detect and address all of the relevant factors.
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Bad Breath Seminar
Bowel Disorders Bundle 1
Bowel Disorders Bundle 2
Oral Hygiene Video Bundle
Oral Hygiene Protocol
BOWEL Detox In this DVD video seminar, Prof. Ali describes his guidelines for gentle daily bowel detox and colon cleanse. He explains the advantages of this approach over intense one-week to 3-week programs which, notwithstanding their temporary benefits, often create adverse effects upon the bowel.
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