The summertime heat can often cause a loss of appetite for a lot of people. I know I have days where I’d rather drink fluids all day long and rely on energy drinks to keep me going. On those days, even the things I do eat are likely found swimming in a bowl of cold broth.

Of course, this is unhealthy in a whole slew of ways, some more social than physical. Did you know, for example, that eating less can cause you to have bad breath? You’re not only doing your body a disservice when you skip a meal, you’re driving away your friends and colleagues by them breathing in their presence. Thankfully, we’ve got the full breakdown on what generally causes beastly breath and what measures you can take to prevent it.

Bad breath, medically referred to as halitosis, is most often caused by the accumulation of hydrogen sulphide on the tongue. It’s the same chemical that’s responsible for the revolting smell of rotten eggs, active volcanoes, and sewage. What happens is that dead cells, bacteria, and food remnants build up on your tongue the same way that grime can accumulate on your skin. It appears as a white film and makes your whole mouth feel fuzzy. That furry film is a decaying layer of filth that stinks of hydrogen sulphide.

If the buildup of fuzz on your tongue becomes too great or is left alone for too long, it will begin to drain down your throat. Once that happens, even brushing your teeth won’t erase the smell of bad breath. What’s worse, the bacteria living in the grime can cause cavities and other periodontal diseases beyond halitosis!

So what can you do to stop the stink and prevent the formation of fuzz? Most people would say to always brush your teeth, but there’s another surprising step that comes before that: eat breakfast. The first stage of digestion involves chewing your food into a lump, also known as a bolus. This mass of food mush actually scrapes away the fuzz on your tongue while you are eating.

Because the fuzzy film accumulates most while you are sleeping, breakfast is the most important meal for breaking apart that stinky slime before it’s able to slide down your throat. An energy drink or something runny isn’t going to cut it if you want to scrape away the scum. Some sort of grain, like rice or bread, is a good food to go with, and bagels come highly recommended. If you would like to try something a little sweeter, pineapple and kiwi fruits are known to contain enzymes that break apart the fuzz.

After breakfast, it’s habitual to move on to teeth brushing. You may think that because the source of stinky breath lies on your tongue, it’d be a good idea to give that muscle a short scrub with your toothbrush, but don’t do it! You’re tongue may be strong, but the surface is quite delicate. Swiping your toothbrush over your tongue even just a couple of times can cause tiny wounds across its surface. If you wish to clean your tongue, the best and most effective way to do it is with a tongue scraper, which are easy to use–just open your mouth in front of a mirror and stick out your tongue. Stick it out far to avoid your gag reflex kicking in and move the scraper down the length of your tongue, starting at the back. Do this about three times for the left, right, and center of your tongue, and you’re done! All that’s left is for you to brush away whatever bits of fuzz came loose around your mouth.

Now, one last trick for all of those times when brushing your teeth isn’t really an option. Maybe you have deadlines at work or a presentation to give, and the stress has made your mouth run dry, increasing the effects of halitosis. Here’s a quick fix to counteract the bacteria stinking up your mouth: powered green tea. Simply place a spoonful of powdered tea in the middle of your tongue and then rub it against the roof of your mouth, coating the rest of your tongue with the powder. It just so happens that the polyphenol in tea leaves inhibits the bacteria that cause bad breath and does so even better than mint flavors and dental brushing! So, in preparation for that hypothetical presentation on your horizon, have a teaspoon of tea to freshen your breath and limit at least one of your worries.

So let’s do it, readers! Let’s make this summer as stink-free as possible! It’s in everyone’s best interest.

Source: Yahoo! News (Japanese)
Top image: Wikipedia