Did you know that about 15% of the Dutch population is chronically suffering from bad breath? This is a fairly high percentage that grows every year. The main reason for this is the deterioration of human health. This has to do with all kinds of factors including: excessive exposure to stress, too little exercise and relaxation, eating (strongly) processed food, excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine and medication. The latter in particular is a major cause when it comes to maintaining healthy mucous membranes.
From mouth to bottom
We can’t make it more beautiful than it is; your mucous membranes simply run from mouth to butt. It is therefore not surprising that if your oral mucous membranes do not function optimally, your intestinal mucous membranes are also not ideal. Your mouth is the reflection of your body and for that reason it is good to be extra alert when oral problems occur. Do you suffer from problems in the mouth such as gum inflammation, sensitive teeth, ulcers and/or dry mouth? Then it may well be the case that other organs do not function optimally either. So always think carefully and try to tackle your overall health – not just your oral problems.
A bad breath, which we focus on in this blog, is also called halitose or fetor ex ore among the professionals. We know that bacteria play a major role in the development of bad breath. In particular, bacteria that nest at the back of the tongue, on the gums and around implants can cause a nasty odour. This is because bacteria produce sulfur and this causes an unpleasant odour. What we often don’t remember is that in the past few years there has been another major factor that can also cause bad breath: medication.
Use of medication and bad breath
The use of medication is increasing every year. This means that our health continues to deteriorate. Currently, most people use 2 or more forms of medication. The reason for this is that many medicines cause side effects. These side effects are again controlled with medication and so you quickly arrive at 2,3 or more forms of medication. Medicines can have quite a few drawbacks. A bad breath is one of the disadvantages. What it does is drying out your mucous membranes. As indicated earlier, they run from mouth to butt – so your oral mucous membranes can certainly be affected: they dry out.
Did you know ...
In 2016, there was yet another 4335 million increase in turnover in the pharmaceutical industry? A large part of this consists of the purchase of medicines. The most sold medicines are currently cholesterol-lowering drugs – 2.1 million Dutch people use this medicine
A dry mouth – how do I fix it?
Dehydration of your mouth has unpleasant consequences. Bacteria can more easily nest in the mouth, which eventually results in an “oral imbalance”. Not only do these bacteria produce sulfur which causes a nasty odour, but also yeasts and moulds have a party in your mouth.
Being aware of the side-effect might be a stimulus to visit your general practitioner or attending physician and ask if the current dosage is still required. You could discuss lowering the dosage and in some cases, you might even decide together that putting specific medication on hold is a good idea (of course only after consulting the specialist).
Moisten your oral mucous membranes
If it is not possible to stop or reduce your medication, it is important to moisten your oral mucous membranes as much as possible. You can do this by:
- Drinking water and herbal tea (at least 1.5 litres per day)
- Eating lots of vegetables (vegetables contain water)
- The usage of blue®m oral foam
- Consuming fibre-rich foods to keep your digestion up and running (gut mucous membrane in order – oral mucosa in order
bluem® oral foam
Our oral foam was originally developed for cleaning invisaligners, brackets, nightguards and prostheses (such as dentures). But oral foam does more than just clean these elements. It also produces moisture. For people with a dry mouth this is an ideal product to have in your bag as a standard. Besides stimulating your mucous membranes, it also gives a fresh taste in your mouth and helps keep your teeth and gums healthy by the presence of xylitol, lactoferrin and active oxygen. It is ph-neutral, alcohol-free (alcohol (alcohol dries your mouth) and contains no fluoride.
This blog has been written by our orthomolecular nutritionist Laura Kluyver. Every month she writes a blog about the relationship between nutrition and oral health. In addition to writing content she gives lectures to IT groups throughout the Netherlands called “nutrition and oral health”.
Always consult with your family doctor if you are considering stopping and/or reducing your medication use.