Bad breath, also known as halitosis, has become an increasing oral health problem. Having bad breath can be extremely embarrassing.
Moreover, it can cause anxiety and low self-esteem among people. Foul smelling breath is commonly caused by poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, oral infection, and bad oral habits like smoking or chewing tobacco.
However, oral microbiota and its end products are the main culprits behind bad breath. (1)
Halitosis is the third most common oral hygiene problem that requires constant dental monitoring and care.
It is estimated that bad breath affects at least one in every four people worldwide. (2)
There are several ways to treat bad breath clinically and naturally. One of the most unique and new methods of curing bad breath is the use of yogurt.
Yogurt is a specialized dairy product which is made by bacterial fermentation of the milk.
Bacteria that make the yogurt are referred to as yogurt cultures, which mainly contains lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophillus.
These bacteria help to cure bad breath and provide a healthy oral environment naturally.
A Japanese study shows that consumption of two 3-oz servings of plain and sugarless yogurt every day attacks the bacteria present on the tongue.
These bacteria primarily settle on the surface of the tongue and release unpleasant odor by processing food particles. (3)
Role of yogurt in treating bad breath
The effectivity of yogurt as an antidote for bad breath comes by the activity of beneficial bacteria present in it, for example, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
These bacteria act as probiotics and specifically target the odor producing bacteria in the mouth, providing fresh breath by reducing the offensive odor.
Clinical studies have revealed that the bacteria present in the yogurt also decrease the levels of hydrogen sulfide – a compound produced by fermenting activity of oral bacteria.
Hydrogen sulfide in most of the cases is the prime cause for having an unpleasant odor in the mouth.
Daily intake of yogurt for at least six weeks showed an 80% decline in the level of malodor. (4)
Additionally, the alkaline property of yogurt helps to neutralize the pH levels of the mouth.
This incidence significantly reduces the risk of tooth decay o cavity formation, which are secondary reasons for dental infection and malodor.
Yogurt also helps to lower the occurrence of gum diseases like gingivitis and plaque accumulation in the mouth.
While taking advantage of all the benefits that yogurt provides, it is essential to also take additional care of your oral hygiene.
Maintaining good oral health is equally important to keep the mouth and oral tissues healthy.
Brushing two times a day, including tongue cleaning, will take you a long way in maintaining fresh breath.
Floss and interdental brush are additional aids that ensure thorough cleaning of the mouth.
Regular professional cleaning and routine check-ups will keep you updated about your oral health status.
Moreover, you can discuss your oral hygiene problems with your dentist and take advice on the preventive methods of curing the problem.