Your Bad Breath Could Be a Sign to Cut Back on Sugar

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The negative effects of too much sugar in the diet have been known for a long time. As easy as it is to become addicted to the sweet stuff, too much sugar can have truly devastating effects on your health. It leads to tooth decay, cavities, weight gain, and eventually to many debilitating medical conditions. One thing that many people don’t know, however, is that sugar can lead to very bad breath. Recently, major international health organizations have officially recognized the tendency to overuse sugar. The United Nations, for example, changed its recommendations regarding sugar, cutting their recommendation in half.

Foods Likely to Cause Bad Breath

Some foods are well known when it comes to bad breath; onions and garlic, for instance. Others are harder to pinpoint. The number one type of food on the list of foods that cause bad breath is sugary foods. Others include:

  • acidic foods
  • foods that dry the mouth
  • any food left in the mouth
  • foods with strong odors

Sugary foods, whether the sweet stuff is in the form of sugars or starches, provide a tasty breeding ground for those bacteria that occur naturally in the mouth. This leads to rapid reproduction of the smelly bacteria. This bacteria also leads to plaque on the teeth and gums. In order to avoid this smelly problem, make sure to brush and rinse after eating sugar foods. It is also a good idea to reduce consumption of sugary treats and drinks.

Hidden Sugars in Foods

Sometimes just reading the label on your favorite treats doesn’t give you a real picture of the amount of sugar that you are eating. Take a look at the ingredient list on a favorite soda. One classic favorite has 26.4 grams of sugar which doesn’t sound so bad; until you realize that this equals 10 teaspoons of sugar. Scoop those ten teaspoons into a bowl in order to get a full picture. Many people eat about 31 teaspoons of added sugar every day. This adds up to an extra 500 calories.

Learn to recognize sugar in its many forms. Some of the words used to describe sugar on a nutrition label or ingredient list are:

  • corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup
  • dextrin
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • corn sweeteners
  • evaporated cane juice
  • malt
  • molasses
  • and sugar in its many forms, like brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, turbinado sugar, brown sugar, etc.

How to Improve Breath

After eating a sugary meal or indulging in a treat, bad breath can be prevented, or at least decreased, by rinsing the mouth with water. Try these other steps as well:

  • Brush and floss with toothpaste at least twice a day. Brush the teeth, the tongue, the roof of the mouth, and the gums.
  • Develop healthy habits of eating. Choose a low-fat diet with healthy proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Give up smoking and tobacco. Stay away from foods like garlic and alcohol.
  • Develop a regular schedule for eating. Skipping meals can also cause bad breath.
  • Visit with a dentist if you have oral health conditions or diseases.

Time for a Change

It is true that sugar can lead to many health problems. As much as people enjoy a treat from time to time, it is a good idea to limit those treats to special occasions. The bad breath that comes from indulging should serve as a warning sign that it is time to cut back.

“Image courtesy of Apolonia / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

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