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Yogurt: An Antidote to Bad Breath?

Active ingredient in yogurt may fight bad breath
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WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Medical News

March 10, 2005 - Forget the breath mints. Pass the yogurt.

A new study suggests that a daily dose of yogurt may keep your breath fresh and fend off offensive odors.

Researchers found that eating 6 ounces of yogurt a day reduced levels of odor-causing compounds, such as hydrogen sulfide, in the mouth.

They say the results suggest that the active bacteria in yogurt, specifically Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, may have a beneficial effect on odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.

Yogurt vs. Odor-Causing Bacteria

In the study, which was presented this week at a meeting of the International Association for Dental Research in Baltimore, researchers looked at the effects of eating yogurt on bad breath and bacteria in the mouth.

Before the study began, 24 healthy volunteers were asked to avoid yogurt and other foods containing the same bacteria found in yogurt, such as cheese and pickled vegetables, for two weeks.

Researchers then took saliva and tongue coating samples to measure bacteria levels as well as odor-causing compounds, including hydrogen sulfide.

During the study, the participants ate about 3 ounces of yogurt twice daily for six weeks.

At the end of the study, researchers took samples again. They found that odiferous compounds, namely hydrogen sulfide, decreased in 80% of participants.

In addition, levels of plaque and the gum disease gingivitis were also significantly lower among yogurt eaters.

Although further studies are needed to confirm these results, researchers say the study suggests that adding yogurt to the diet may be a safe and effective way to fight bad breath.

How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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