Vitamins for Bad Breath
Will taking vitamins for bad breath work? In the past, bad breath was attributed to poor oral hygiene - if you had it, people assumed that you did not brush your teeth regularly and have regular dental checkups to ensure that your gums were healthy and your teeth free of cavities. In short, it was your fault. More recently, we've realized that even a clean healthy mouth can generate a bad odor if the oral bacteria that produce that odor become too numerous. We've also realized that certain physical conditions, such as post nasal drip, sinus problems, and dry mouth can contribute to bad breath.
The idea that there may be a connection between nutrition and bad breath has grown out of the 21st century emphasis on healthy lifestyles and preventative medicine. Many health problems can be prevented, we now believe by eating a healthy diet and having an active lifestyle. This approach , successfully followed, might alleviate not only bad breath, but also the underlying problems, like post nasal drip, that contribute to it. Logically, then, vitamins for bad breath might make sense.
A few bad breath professionals have gone so far as to highlight the issue of nutrition and bad breath, and are recommending specific vitamins and minerals, or even marketing their own dietary supplement. Beyond advocating good nutrition, some are suggesting that the immune system plays a role in the causes of bad breath and that a strengthened immune system will help solve the problem. The perfect minerals and vitamins for bad breath, then, will include those involved in maintaining good oral health, and those that support the immune system, many of which are the same.
Vitamin C is an obvious choice: we've known for hundreds of years that people who don't eat fruits and vegetables get scurvy, a disease easily recognized by the destruction of the gums. Vitamin C is the nutrient that people with scurvy lack, and the destructive effect on the oral tissues sets up perfect conditions for the proliferation of odor causing bacteria. Even today, many people don't get enough Vitamin C. It could be that, for some people, this Vitamin C deficiency is the link between nutrition and bad breath.
Another obvious nutrient to go with vitamins for bad breath is the mineral zinc. The relationship between zinc and halitosis is so well established that many of the best mouthwashes and other oral care products for bad breath already contain this mineral. Zinc plays a role in many body functions, including taste and immunity. It's exact role in fighting the malodorous bacteria may also be complex, but there is little doubt that it does have a positive influence on nutrition and bad breath.
Other suggested nutrients for bad breath include vitamins E and D, and the B vitamin complex, and the mineral calcium. All of these vitamins and minerals play a well established role in human health, and many people already take them or ensure that there are adequate sources in the diet. Not surprisingly, the vitamin and mineral supplements aimed at bad breath are very similar to ordinary multivitamin and mineral supplements. Supplements linking immune status, nutrition and bad breath may contain herbal extracts typical of immunity boosters advocated by natural healing specialists. Whether or not these products provide the key to beating halitosis remains to be seen, but its doubtful that taking vitamins for bad breath will do any harm. To be safe, before taking any dietary supplement on a regular basis, discuss your concerns with your doctor.
R. Drysdale is a freelance writer with more than 25 years experience as a health care professional. She is a contributing editor to Bad Breath Cure, a blog dedicated to the treatment of bad breath.